Edie Patterson, Copy

When most people think of Martin Luther King Jr., they think of his famous “I have a dream” speech from the March on Washington, but, as the Diversity Club’s MLK Day presentation addressed, Dr. King’s legacy is much more than a few commonly-quoted phrases. Highlighting ideas like this one is an important mission of Seabury’s Diversity Club, which started with a focus on supporting minority groups on campus and educating people on lesser known aspects of racial justice and diversity. 

“The Diversity Club is all about spreading awareness, lifting up minority voices and support for minorities. The presentation did all of those things,” says senior Aris Grady, president of Diversity Club. Grady spoke during the MLK Day presentation and added that the event “was so important to [her], and hearing from powerful, amazing, eloquent Black women was so inspirational.” 

“I was really happy that we got to show the school the things we talk about and work on during our meetings,” says freshman and Diversity Club member Helena Gutierrez-Gibbs, “and bring people from the Seabury community to come in and make it a little more fun.” 

The event represented the main goals of Diversity Club, and, as junior and vice president of Diversity Club Elena Weber says, “Not only did [the presentation] aim to educate…and celebrate MLK, it also showed how MLK has impacted people in our community.”

    However, event planning is not the only thing that the Diversity Club does. “During a meeting, we start with debriefing over recent news and then we start to dig into ideas for our next project and the mechanics,” says Gutierrez-Gibbs. “Sometimes we meet to specifically talk and share thoughts on recent events that may have had big emotional tolls on us and just be there for one another.” Through both events and meetings, the Diversity Club is a great resource for every student to have the community they need. 

Similarly, Grady says, “Seabury is a very diverse community and there are so many who deserve recognition and support for the cultures and identities they represent. This year, it has been hard to go all out like we really wanted to, but, even with a pandemic, we continue to persevere and make strides to the betterment of the school.” Although the Diversity Club conducted the MLK Day event over Zoom, it managed to make it a memorable event and to amplify essential voices in our community and their messages about what Dr. King stands for. He is a symbol of anti-racism, activism and everything else the Diversity Club seeks to represent.

    In the same way, Grady’s speech during the MLK Day event sought to encapsulate the goal of Diversity Club at Seabury. She wanted to find a way to “pay tribute to [herself], [her] family and [her] ancestors.” She says, “My history, though grim, is just as amazing…based on the pure resilience of my people.” She also wanted to talk about Dr. King and include political context while discussing how to apply her opinions on diversity and inclusion to modern politics. Diversity Club, and especially this event, bring light to “untold history,” in Grady’s words. While Seabury students are taught about Dr. King and the historical basics of understanding diversity, throughout history underrepresented and diverse groups have not been given the voice they need to tell their history and their perspectives. Now, a diversity initiative at Seabury is here to bring those histories into education.

    The club’s purpose is to represent and support the “diverse and enthusiastic learning environment” that Seabury’s Mission Statement promotes, with a focus on uplifting diverse voices and perspectives. The club also provides an open learning environment, furthering Seabury’s goal of producing “engaged citizens of the world,” another key part of the Mission Statement. 

Over the years, Weber thinks Diversity Club’s efficiency at fulfilling this mission has improved. She says that the club has “become more organized and productive and done a lot more projects.”

With Grady’s goal to “lay a foundation,” the club will continue to provide necessary support for minorities at Seabury. Diversity Club reflects all of Seabury’s core values, with an objective of providing everyone with opportunities, even the people who may be denied opportunities in the real world, and ensuring that everyone at Seabury has the necessary space to become and be proud of their authentic selves.