Strength. Hope. Love. That’s Spartanburg.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr wrote, “Love is the most durable power in the world…Love is creative and redemptive. Love builds up and unites.” Every year our community comes together to honor and reflect on the words and purpose of Dr. King’s life during the City of Spartanburg’s Unity Week Celebration. This year’s celebration featured free events from a community walk, to a day of service, to an evening unity celebration. District 7 was proud to support Unity Week. McCracken student Corrine Bowden’s artwork was emblazoned on event t-shirts and banners also telling the story of the powerful transforming forces of light, hope and love.
At the Mayor’s Unity Breakfast on January 12, Superintendent Russell Booker shared a powerful message, “Relationships build connections. Connections build community.” In seeking to make our community a better place Dr. Booker charged the audience to choose to lead the way. Dr. King put it this way, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism (kindness, self-sacrifice, genuineness, sincerity) or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Dr. Booker called upon all those in attendance to be that Light that Dr. King spoke of. To recognize that Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can.
Following Dr. Booker’s comments Spartanburg High School’s Corporation performed Chris Rice’s “Go Light Your World”. The lyrics begin:
There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes his home…
In closing Dr. Booker said, “What a gift we have in each other. Let’s carry our candles and let’s go light our world.”
On Saturday students and staff got the chance to come together for the “Walk as One” unity walk, and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day the United Way of the Piedmont sponsored its annual Day of Service during which our students and staff engaged in activities to reflect on King’s legacy. Spartanburg has observed the Martin Luther King Day of Service as a day on, not a day off since 2008. Unity Week culminated with a public celebration at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. which featured music from the Sounds of Diversity Choir and Orchestra and a keynote address from former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. Winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest were also announced!
MLK Poster Contest Winners
3rd Place - McCulloh Collins, Pine Street Elementary
2nd Place - Braedan Griffin, McCracken Middle
1st Place - Corrine Bowden, McCracken Middle
2nd Place - Fantasia Smith, Carver Middle
3rd Place - Keith Means, Carver Middle
MLK First Place Poster Winner Corrine Bowden, McCracken Middle - Art Teacher, Ed Purdy (featured on event banners and T-shirts)
This month as we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this Moment for Mission
is a poignant reminder of the call that urges us on - to inspire and equip
our students for meaningful lives of leadership and service. On Thursday, January 12, Superintendent Russell Booker and The Corporation were the featured guests at the City of Spartanburg’s annual Unity Breakfast. Dr. Booker remarks and Chris Rice’s song “Go Light Your World” performed by our students are an encouragement to us all.
Dr. King’s life was his mission - freedom for all. And he accomplished that mission by his philosophy of love for his fellow man and concern for all people. We can’t be Dr. King, but we can learn from his example, take inspiration from his accomplishments and make a real difference. For more information about the Unity Week Celebration visit the City of Spartanburg’s MLK Unity Week Webpage.