The Roeper School to Hold Annual Ceremony, Candlelight Walk and Vigil in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
By: Mark Winter
Day of reflection will also launch the school’s new diversity initiative with Pontiac High School
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., January 9, 2012 — On Monday, January 16, 2012, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based The Roeper School (Roeper), a co-educational day school for gifted children, will gather community members together at 5:30 p.m. to honor and celebrate the ideals and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The annual event will gather the local community together to hear inspirational words, share a meal, enjoy entertainment and hear personal reflections on how MLK has impacted their lives. Roeper’s newly established diversity initiative with Pontiac High School will also launch immediately prior to the event.
The evening’s events, which are open to the public, are designed around the theme, “I WILL SPEAK OUT,” which stresses the importance of not remaining silent or inactive in the face of prejudice and injustice. The activities will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Roeper Community Center located at 41190 Woodward Avenue in Bloomfield Hills, with a meal consisting of a variety of homemade soups and bread. Following the meal, at 6:15 p.m., the ceremony will begin in which reflections will be shared regarding the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. Poems will be read, songs sung and student and other community member presentations made. At approximately 7:15 p.m., candles will be distributed and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Candlelight Walk will begin its procession from the Community Center to Roeper’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Domes, built in 1969 in his memory. The group will enter the large circular Big Dome, at which time attendees of all ages can share their reflections about this great man, his impact on their lives, the world today and the work that still needs to be done.
The event, which has been held annually for over 25 years, has consistently grown in attendance, with approximately 400 people participating in the event in 2011. In an effort to expand on Roeper’s diversity initiatives, Roeper’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will also launch the school’s new partnership with Pontiac High School, which has been created to promote a greater understanding of other races between the two schools. The program will kick-off with a discussion group at Roeper, consisting of six students from each school, in which the participants will discuss such issues as race, class, justice as well as Dr. King’s dream in today’s world. The initiative will continue throughout the year with a variety of upcoming activities that will be shared between the schools and at each high school campus.
“This day and the opportunity to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. means a great deal to our school,” said Roeper Interim Head of School Philip Deely. “Roeper was established to insure education that supported diversity and respected human rights and we strive to promote that message every day.”
All attendees are encouraged to bring at least one nonperishable food item to donate to Roeper’s community food bank project with Gleaners lead by Stage III and IV students.
Founded in 1941, The Roeper School is a uniquely personalized, coeducational school for gifted and talented children in preschool through grade 12 from over 60 communities in southeast Michigan. With campuses in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Roeper was conceived on founding principles that recognize the power of education, choice and self-expression, and the transformative impact these principles have on young minds. For more information, please visit www.roeper.org.
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Meghan O’Brien Edwards