January 13, 2023
"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
- Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.
Our teaching, learning, and interactions every day are committed to working for justice and acting for peace because the Gospel urges us. As we approach the federal holiday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, I’d like to share some of the ways we live our Loretto School Value of justice.
At SMA, students learn to exercise empathy, become advocates, and develop an understanding of justice and actions they can take, in age-appropriate ways, throughout our program. Here are a few examples in each division.
In the Lower School:
- Lessons about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and other figures who stood for justice continue across the classrooms. The fifth grade’s learning culminates in an assembly in February for Black History Month.
- On late start-great start Wednesdays, students raise awareness about different organizations in need of support, raising this year's funds to help Pakistan with its recovery from devastating floods linked to climate change.
- Students participate in the Students ReBuild Challenge to learn about civic engagement through art with global issues such as hunger, ocean health, and more.
In the Middle School:
- On Wednesday, students attended an MLK assembly where they learned from peers in the Be the Change elective about the stories of courageous citizens who forged through violence in Selma for voting rights for all.
- Participants in a new drop-in Loretto Changemakers group are making posters for community members who march in the Marade on Monday.
- Grade 8 students connect with Loretto at the United Nations as part of their World Affairs Challenge, where last year team finalists presented their projects in a UN/JCoR (Justice Coalition of Religious) virtual exhibit booth.
In the High School:
- Service learning work performed by every student deepens student understanding of society and civic engagement as they prepare for meaningful work as leaders and changemakers.
- In December, SMA was proud to send six High School and Middle School teachers and six Grade 10 students to the NAIS People of Color Conference and Student Diversity Conference of more than 800 participants from independent schools, in San Antonio. They were inspired by keynote speakers including Amanda Nguyen; Nikki Giovanni, Luke Wood, and Shakil Choudhury and at breakouts under the theme of “Reunited in Purpose: elevating our worth, our agency, and our excellence.”
- Courses in the High School center around justice, including Current World Issues, Global Citizenship, Voices of Justice: Poetry, and Theological Studies: Living the Ways of Love and Justice.
SMA is a place where we learn, read, speak, play, and work together in ways that are loving and fair. We work for justice and act for peace. I hope you can join us on Monday as we join the greater community in this mission.