There is consensus that the key to altering social class and economic stature can be won through education. The truest way to break the cycle of generational poverty is through an educated community. Martin Luther King understood and advocated tirelessly for that notion.
This Monday, January 20th, we will proudly march alongside tens of thousands in our community for the principles and ideals, and the movement Martin Luther King helped lead. The philosophies he advocated are still quite relevant and worthy of pursuit today.
I have been inspired and moved by Martin Luther King and the work he set out to do. There are a couple of quotes that he said that are amongst my favorite quotes. They are glimpses into his beliefs on education and how they influence my philosophy and intentionality of some of the work that I am doing while serving as the Alamo College District 2 Board member.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King understood how education and character development were intertwined. The social emotional well-being of a student is quite critical to their future success. Education must inspire students to dream in order to achieve. If a student is experiencing troubles at home, being bullied at school, or requires additional tutoring to keep up, they may not embrace the reason for an education and merely be going through the mechanics of an education.
Without a purpose or inspiration, a student will face a steeper climb as they try to reach the top of the mountain. Excelling in the classroom is more than provide curriculum, it is also about building a solid character and social emotional support to help students diminish their obstacles to a solid education.
It is this sentiment from MLK that is at the core of why I am working with my Alamo College Board colleagues and Administration to create a summer program for middle school students that will serve to help inspire and support early student development.
My hope is that such programs will identify students who are hurting and help them get the support they need to focus in the classroom. A student should be motivated to be college and career ready when they graduate high school. By identifying challenges in middle school, these Initiatives have the ability to address character development strategies and ultimately alter student outcomes for the better.
“Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
In order to find the truth, you must know how to find it. Better yet, you must want to find it. Education has the ability to bring in such an understanding. Martin Luther King understood and advocated for this form of critical thinking. His quote is immersed in the sentiment of accountability and efficiency. This principle truly resonates with me and is the basis of my desires to comprehend what is happening in order to ensure we are utilizing resources in order to make an impact.
I could go on and on illustrating how Martin Luther King has touched my life. Perhaps even a little deeper, but this venue in the Observer is not the best format for such a discussion. As I march this Monday, I will be reflecting greatly about a man who not only moved generations of people of color forward, but an entire Nation.