Lynwood – Lynwood Unified School District students celebrated the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr. with music, dance, speeches, skits and a gallery exhibition during a Districtwide “I Have A Dream” Spirit Week, held Jan. 17-20.

Hip-hop artist Yo-Yo visited Firebaugh High for a special lunchtime music performance on Jan. 18, while motivational speakers Elaine Powell and Morgan Westbrooks addressed Lynwood High students during a rally on Jan. 20. LUSD elementary and middle schools constructed “Dream” walls and performed random acts of kindness during the weeklong celebration.

“Martin Luther King Jr. epitomized the hopes and dreams of Americans fighting for equality and honor, convictions that still greatly resonate today and that are embraced throughout our entire community and Lynwood Unified,” LUSD Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “For many, ‘I Have A Dream’ are the four most important words in the history of the United States, and the values those words represent are worthy of our observance and respect.”

Each LUSD school celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. in their own distinct way.

Firebaugh High students curated a Gallery Walk in their lecture hall, with historic photos and memorabilia, testimonials, banners and exhibits. One section of the Gallery Walk portrayed the aftermath of MLK’s assassination by displaying a suitcase and overcoat, surrounded by yellow police tape. Firebaugh students also conducted open mic readings and created “Express Yourself” chalk art.

“It is important for us to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy to get students thinking about the sacrifices he made that affect them today,” Firebaugh High equity liaison Alike Chandler said. “It is important for students and staff to know about the commitments he made to all of us and how we can make our own commitments to creating a better society for us and the future.”

Lynwood High held a schoolwide assembly on Jan. 20, with a dance performance and speeches. LHS students performed skits recreating great moments in civil rights history, including the original “I Have A Dream” speech by MLK, the Rosa Parks bus boycott and a dialogue between King and fellow civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

“We wanted to bring all students together to emphasize the message that everyone is equal,” Lynwood High equity liaison Larry Reed said. “We decided to hold our most important event of the week on Inauguration Day to get students to remember the past that Martin Luther King Jr. was a part of, and to get them to continually look toward and inspire the future.”

LUSD middle and elementary school students immersed themselves in the history of MLK and the civil rights movement, then created art that expressed how they felt about King and his legacy. Students also composed acrostic poems using the following words: freedom, unity, justice and hope.

“Almost fifty years after the death of Martin Luther King Jr., his words and actions continue to have a profound impact in Lynwood, as well as across the country and around the world,” LUSD Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “Our students are aware of how the significance of current events may affect their quality of life and, in helping to address both their hopes and fears, we present the teachings of Dr. King so that our students can understand that they have the ability to make and effect change in their lives that will benefit the greater community.”


012717_LUSD_MLK1: Lynwood High School equity liaison Larry Reed (at podium) and members of the LHS girls’ basketball team conduct a “mannequin challenge” in the school’s Performing Arts Center on Jan. 20, reenacting what a civil rights speech forum might have looked like. Lynwood High celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists during a Districtwide “I Have A Dream” Spirit Week, held Jan. 17-20.

012717_LUSD_MLK2: Firebaugh High freshmen Valerie Ramirez (left) and Yulisa Martinez preview a podium honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the school’s Gallery Walk on Jan. 17. Firebaugh High celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists during a Districtwide “I Have A Dream” Spirit Week, held Jan. 17-20.