S.P.E.A.K Lends a Hand to MLK Day


As MLK day approaches, East Grand Rapids once again honors the legacy of Dr. King. One organization, Students Promoting Equity through Action and Knowledge, known as S.P.E.A.K is doing just that. 

“S.P.E.A.K tries to achieve awareness to the issue revolving around sex, race, ethnicity, and religion that happens within our school system and also within the world,” Katelynn Grady ‘22 said. Grady feels it is her duty to be a strong advocate for social justice and equality. She believes that it’s important that S.P.E.A.K exists because without it we wouldn’t be able to know what it is like to stand up for what we believe in. 

Dr. King dedicated his life to the nonviolent struggle for civil rights and played a pivotal role in ending segregation for African Americans, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As students have the day off on MLK day, S.P.E.A.K planned to commemorate King’s life Friday, Jan. 14. They planned for there to be slideshows in the classrooms and have students listen to the “I Have a Dream Speech” in order to promote discussion about King and his legacy. 

However, MLK Day is not the only thing S.P.E.A.K is focused on. The upcoming Black History Month, which starts Feb. 1 commemorates achievements of African Americans and recognizes their central role in U.S history. Grady says that S.P.E.A.K wants to bring awareness to the fact that there are many great and talented African Americans today as well as in the past that have done amazing things to make change.

Whether it be for MLK day, Black History month, or just in people’s daily lives, Grady says we can always choose to live by Dr. King’s words. “We can honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr by just living by what he said in his ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ and treat everyone as one.”