Celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

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Vision Steppers perform at Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service. Hall ’18

Sacred Heart Greenwich students and faculty joined together to sing, dance, and reflect upon the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Veronique DuBois gymnasium January 13. The theme for this year’s prayer service was “Educating to the New Frontiers of Love and Justice.”
Members from the Concordia College GospelKnights and Vision Steppers Gospel Step Team helped the Sacred Heart community celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. The groups’ performances aimed to bring Dr. King’s messages of faith, non-violence, and community into an artistic and cultural setting.
Founder and director of the Vision Steppers Mr. Dabe James hopes to inspire others to be “courageous and supportive and stand for all that they believe,” according to visionsteppers.orgHe believes that stepping instills patience, courage, honesty, trust, love, and responsibility in younger generations. 

During the Prayer Service, the GospelKnight used music and dancing to worship. Elisabeth Hall '18
During the Prayer Service, the GospelKnight used music and dancing to worship.
Elisabeth Hall ’18

In addition, team member Miss Kayla Shelton uses dance to share powerful messages with her audience. 
“The most rewarding element to me is that we are as a group heard,” Miss Shelton said. “That people admire what we have to say, admire what we do, and how we show it.”
Miss Shelton also described how stepping strengthens both her own and her team’s spiritual life.
“Each stepper has their own unique talent,” Miss Shelton said. “How we strengthen our spiritual life is that we are able to use those talents to express and praise our Lord.”
The GospelKnights is a religious choir that incorporates singing, instrument playing, and dancing into performances, according to concordia-nyu.edu. During the prayer service, the GospelKnights choir performed fan-favorite songs such as “Do You Know Him?” and “Pray for Me.”  
Miss Estelle Bikibili, a singer from the GospelKnights, and Miss Shelton agreed that their participation in the choir and stepping, respectively, gives them the opportunity to express their faith and form valuable relationships with their peers.
“The gospel choir is not just a choir about singing,” Miss Bikibili said. “The gospel choir is a choir where all of us are a family.”
Miss Bikibili has been singing since she was young and joined many choir groups in school. She believes the GospelKnights’ performances are memorable to her and those listening because they encourage others to find God and appreciate music.
“Hopefully at the end of the day, any type of song we sing, we can touch someone’s heart, and it can touch the next heart,” Miss Bikibili said. “The performances that are memorable to me are the kind of performances where people come back to us and tell us that it really touched them.” 
Towards the end of the service, Civil Rights activist Mrs. Joanne Bland shared the struggles she faced with segregation in Selma, Alabama. Mrs. Bland encouraged students and faculty to be proactive members of the Sacred Heart community and create change.
Vision Steppers perform at Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service. Hall '18
Vision Steppers perform at Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service.
Elisabeth Hall ’18

“Movements for social change are like jigsaw puzzles,” Mrs. Bland said. “Everybody has a piece.”
Mrs. Bland processed into the gym with the Madrigals and eighth graders as they sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Following tradition, the prayer service concluded with the Madrigals singing “Do You Know Him” with the GospelKnights, while the senior class stepped with the Vision Steppers.
Senior and Madrigals member Helen Rail appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the Martin Luther King Jr. prayer service by singing with the GospelKnights.
“Singing with the GospelKnights is something really special to me. All the singers and musicians are so kind and talented,” Helen said. “To me, prayer and worship through song is a great way to unite everyone, as music is universal.”

– Juliana Collins, Staff Writer