• Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

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     Guadalupe Guerrero

    Guadalupe Guerrero, Superintendent Portland Public Schools (Photo by Beth Conyers)

    Dear PPS Students, Families and Colleagues,

    Today we celebrate and honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a hero of mine. As his influence is seen and felt in the ongoing movement for racial justice, I want to share this video created by the Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary School community. They found a creative way to unify their voices to bring us a unique reading of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963, originally delivered to a crowd of almost a quarter million people at the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington D.C. I think you will enjoy this collaboratively produced presentation of Dr. King’s words brought to life by a new generation of change-makers for justice at PPS.

    Dr. King powerfully described the America that existed nearly 70 years ago and unfortunately, many of his pointed critiques still ring true today, decades later. Among other injustices, he calls out racist violence against Black, Indigenous and Americans of Color, and the country’s unfulfilled promise that we be included and honored as equals, with equal protection and opportunity.

    As our nation remains deeply troubled by anti-Black racism and multiple crises before us, Dr. King continues to call us as educators to work for racial equity and social justice. Our community articulated a vision for our graduates to be transformative racial equity leaders, equipped to assist in making this a more socially just and equitable world. Let us take heart from Dr. King’s optimism and insistence that, with our collective efforts, freedom will ring out in this nation. 

    Thank you to the students, educators, and families of the Boise-Eliot/Humboldt community for reminding us of the powerful and profound words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

    I wish you all a healthy, peaceful and reflective holiday.

    Guadalupe Guerrero

    (Note: Somali translation will be available shortly — Waxaad dhawaan heli doontaan qeybo la turjumay.)