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Superintendent Message to Community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Summary: “In honoring Dr. King we choose to look back at history to glean lessons from our past."

Dr. Brent Jones’ Commentary Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Seattle Public Schools Community, 

We have witnessed constant challenges over the last two years, marked by a racial reckoning and global pandemic. During this critical moment, we pause to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader and change maker Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honoring Dr. King, we choose to look back at history to glean lessons from our past. We seek not to repeat the same mistakes, but rather to leverage his world-changing strategies. 
Dr. King was a teacher. He compelled us to never lose sight of those impacted the most by the conditions that plague society.  From the Birmingham jail, he told us to be active and not passive in our pursuits of justice. In his last days, he stood strongly in the gap for those with the least power and who suffered the worst of injustices.

Guided by his stance, we must recalibrate to fulfill the establishment of the beloved community that Dr. King envisioned and spoke of in his “Birth of a New Nation” speech in 1957. 

In so doing, we should interrogate systems, structures and behaviors that do not yield justice or promote community. Seattle Public Schools’ commitment to students of Color furthest from educational justice, as well as every student, needs to be evident. In fact, our collective efforts should ensure that our design, intent, and actions also lead with love and care to those we have historically underserved.

On this special day of commemoration, I implore us to move with actions that are steeped in justice, love, and progress. 
Stay well, 
Dr. Brent Jones, Superintendent 
Seattle Public Schools 

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