Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrest II will address the student body of Birmingham Public Schools' Wylie E. Groves High School on Wednesday, January 16, as the keynote speaker at the school's annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assembly, on the topic of “What Would Martin Tweet?” at two assemblies set for 7:30 and 8:50 a.m.
“At Groves, we use this assembly to not only mark the national holiday, but to communicate, educate and accomplish change,” said Dr. Embekka Roberson, Groves principal. “Our celebration is for all of the Groves community. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for more than just civil rights for African Americans, he stood for the hope that everyone will live, learn and work together in harmony.”
The Birmingham school district stated that the selection of the Lt. Governor “honors and embodies a connection to the values and qualities identified as important to the staff and students of Wylie E. Groves High School: give back to the community, be respectful and responsible to yourself and others, be open minded as we avoid judgements and stereotypes, value our environment, empower yourself and others to be the change you wish to see, and support each other with empathy.”
The idea to have Gilchrest speak on “What Would Martin Tweet?” came about as Gilchrest was the founding executive director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan.
“Today’s students are interconnected through social media in ways which are constantly changing; this connection often is disconnecting, and it was Gilchrist’s belief that 'ensurement that people are connected, informed, empowered, and free to share their ideas are core values of the internet,' which intrigued the committee,” said Groves English teacher Amy Voigt.
The assembly will also include a call to service from the school's Experiential Education Department to engage staff and students in community service projects, “making the holiday a day on rather than a day off,” Voigt said.
Birmingham's Baldwin Library will also celebrate, honor and recognize the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by hosting two special events on Monday, January 21.
At 3 p.m., historical impersonator Rosie “Miz Rosie” Chapman will impersonate Civil War heroine Harriet Tubman in her seventh visit to the library for MLK Day. “Young and old alike are swept up in Miz Rosie’s dramatic and energizing theatrical experience,” said Donna Smith, youth librarian. “Through her presentations, storytelling becomes a useful educational tool for teaching cultural diversity, history, life skills, conflict resolution and social skills." Registration is requested for the program and can be done online or by calling 248.554.4670.
At 7 p.m. that evening the library will host a free screening of Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” speech from August 28, 1963.