Celebrating Dr. King through insightful and collaborative schoolwide workshops


Jacey Heffernan '21

Mrs. Frazier and Upper School students participate in a virtual prayer service in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sacred Heart Greenwich’s Campus Ministry program held the annual all-school prayer service to honor Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 13.  This year’s assembly included a presentation showcasing various students reciting lines of a speech by former United States Representative and Civil Rights activist Mr. John Lewis. The students then broke into small groups to discuss current social justice issues and how they relate to the school community, highlighting the theme of “Who Is My Neighbor.”

In past years, Sacred Heart welcomed the Vision Steppers dance group from the Immaculate Conception School in the Bronx, New York and the GospelKnights choir from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York to perform at the prayer service.  This year, students and faculty were still able to come together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy through a virtual prayer service, where students continued to stand up to injustice as Dr. King did.

Kayla Malcolm-Joseph ’22 takes part in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. virtual prayer service.  Courtesy of Ms. Christina Monaco

Members of student council, Mrs. Maureen Considine, Director of Upper School Campus Ministry, and Mrs. Kerry Bader, Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service and Senior Seminar Service and Theology Teacher, worked to adapt the prayer service in commemoration of Dr. King to current restrictions through organizing workshops to spark conversation.  Seniors Yve Lafontant, Morgan Wilkens, Mary O’Connor, Izzy DeVita, Destini-Joy (DJ) Green, and Michala Rogers, and junior Kayla Malcolm-Joseph all worked together to successfully execute this year’s prayer service. 

As Head of Campus Ministry, Izzy looks forward to engaging in discourse with her peers despite restrictions preventing a typical prayer service.

“This year, several student council leaders including myself worked with Mrs. Considine and Mrs. Bader to adapt the Martin Luther King Jr. prayer service given our current circumstances,” Izzy said.  “While it was sad to miss the typical performances of the Gospel Knights and the Vision Steppers and the lively all-school gathering we all look forward to each year, we have planned workshops to stimulate necessary conversation.”

Following the theme of the prayer service, “Who Is My Neighbor,” there will be two further workshops to promote ongoing discussion surrounding important social justice issues.  There will also be a guest speaker, Ms. Amanda Codina, Upper School Dean of Students at Convent of the Sacred Heart 91st Street, who will lead a chapel on empathetic listening January 27.

Antonia Iraola ’24 participates in the first activity for the theme “Who Is My Neighbor.”  Courtesy of Lara Patricio ’21

During the first workshop January 20, small groups in each grade will discuss world issues such as homelessness, criminal justice, hunger, poverty, illness, ability, and immigration, as well as what barriers there may be that prevent students from creating close relations.  These activities will occur in tandem with the grade level class representatives.

The second seminar held February 3 will focus on what it means to be a neighbor in the Sacred Heart community.  Additionally, the workshop will highlight the implicit biases that prevent individuals from acting as true neighbors to one another and how members of the community can overcome these obstacles.

Izzy discussed the importance of teaching others to be a true neighbor, especially within the community, and how Sacred Heart students will become more educated and involved through discussion.

“I am really excited to help stimulate conversations that will allow everyone to become more educated and understanding global citizens as well as more aware and empathetic Sacred Heart students,” Izzy said.  “This is the first time that, as an Upper School community, we are facilitating conversations about issues on inclusion and being a true ‘neighbor,’ both globally and within our community.  As such, going forward, I hope this allows students to more easily engage in conversation about topics that are sometimes challenging to discuss, as this is necessary in order to create lasting change and facilitate complete inclusion at Sacred Heart.”

Featured Image by Jacey Heffernan ’21