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Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day

Weekly Update from the Director - January 12, 2024
This Monday, we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Embracing non-violence as a means to effect significant change, Dr. King dedicated his life to help end racism, hate, and poverty. Unfortunately, all three of these societal circumstances exist throughout the world, but it is so evident that Dr. King brought about significant change not just in the U.S. but also throughout the world.

Here in the United States, his influence is clearly discernible in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Dr. King said that the award represents “profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.”

There is of course a profound connection between Dr. King’s name with Germany, specifically to Martin Luther, the Reformist who more than 500 years ago ushered in a new era of religious and political history in the Western World. How did this connection between the Baptist minister from the American South and the medieval German monk come about?

Dr. King’s father, originally named Michael, chose the name Martin Luther for himself and his then five-year-old son after having traveled and studied in Germany, very much influenced by his research of Martin Luther, the Father of the Reformation.

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I know you join me in a wish and reflection for a more just future. On this occasion, I say “Peace on Earth” and “Friede auf Erden.”
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German International School Chicago is a preschool through 8th grade school that prepares students to become well-rounded, creative, and responsible global citizens. We provide students with a rigorous German-English bilingual education in a supportive and individualized learning environment.

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