By Alex Lo ’23
“And the glory of the lord and the glory of the world shall prevail.” These words resonated through the chapel on a chilly Tuesday morning. It was a day after Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s birthday and time for the annual Diversity Day.
On August 28, 1963, Dr. King delivered his iconic speech, I Have a Dream. Kevin Powell came to Belmont Hill to spread the same values of Dr. King. Powell worked hard and escaped poverty ascending from a poor childhood to graduating from college and becoming an activist. More importantly, he went from a man who degraded and looked upon women as objects to becoming a speaker against violence to women and girls. Kevin Powell chose love over hatred and prejudice. He learned to love anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, race, age, or abilities.
With the fairly recent #MeToo movement, Kevin talked about how women have rights that are equal to men’s rights. Interestingly, Mr. Leonardis gave a powerful insight into his life, where one day he was teaching his daughter how to play Tee-ball. When he told her if she hit the ball at a set distance, a man would get on base, she replied, “Why can’t it be a girl.” Many years ago, this remark may have been ignored, but now women are standing up to those who have abused and degraded them. This action further proves that women are strong and can fight the past wrongdoings that others have made.
After the speech, the students were separated into advisor groups and talked with either younger or older boys. For both groups, they got to interact and see how others different in age, saw the problems in the world, benefiting them all.
Later in the day, the students separated into groups to discuss current controversial topics after some students talked about their experiences at a student conference. Topics such as gender, race, moral values, and more were touched upon. The student leaders went through some exercises that they had done at the conference. One interesting activity was that the students were given a question and they could assemble on any side of the spectrum for and against. Students were on each side, all having an opinion on the topic.
Diversity day may not be a favorite for many of the Belmont Hill students, but for some, the day can be eye-opening. The world as it is has many problems that need to be fixed and days, like this one, help students be aware that there is more to your life than what you see.