Posted on 01/15/2018
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On Monday,  Martin Luther King Day, 2018, King High unveiled a wall graphic honoring the school’s namesake. It is on the first floor of the Administration building and replaces art work installed back in 1999 when the school opened.

The new rendering is a mural of a number of King’s more famous quotes during the Civil Rights Movement that encircle a portrait of the man.

MLK WallUnder Principal Mike West's leadership, the project has been in process since the Spring of 2017 and finally came to fruition with a ceremony to celebrate Martin Luther King and reveal the newest element to the King High campus.  Fittingly, it all came together on the national holiday to honor Dr. King.

The ceremony and celebration was held at the entrance to the school and was presented with the help of UC Riverside’s Leadership and Service department as well as their African Student Programs.  Educational sessions on Martin Luther King and the Civil Right Movement followed speeches and dance presentations by UC Riverside’s Nigerian Student Association and members of UCR’s Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. 

Mr. West used the occasion to present to the school a framed copy of a speech former school board member Louis Vanderzyl gave in 1999 during the controversy engendered by the proposed name for “Riverside’s fifth high school”. The framed speech was a gift from Mr. Vanderzyl’s wife, Molly, who was present at the occasion and spoke briefly about her husband’s influence on the naming of Martin Luther King High School.  

The speech, eloquent in its defense of the appropriateness of the name, was re-read aloud to the audience by Mr. West and were well received.

MLK Day Celebration 2018Abrianna Ross, a Junior at King High School, spoke to the crowd and seemed to sum it all up perfectly with these words: “Just like Martin Luther King Jr was a man of character, so is MLK High School a school where character and respect is an expectation for all students and staff.  We’re not a perfect School, but we are a school that is climbing to perfect that peaceful existence among us all.”

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