Damond Ford and the Beloved Community of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Damond Ford and the Beloved Community of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Elaine Loft, Staff Writer

Derryfield reflected on the contributions and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a Community Meeting assembly on Friday, January 26. After the Derryfield concert choir performed MLK, by U2, the audience viewed several video clips of Dr. King speaking at rallies in Selma, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee.

Anela Kruščica, Director of Equity and Belonging, then introduced guest speaker Damond Ford. Ford is Associate Director of the NH GEAR UP Alliance, where he leads a team of dedicated educators impacting post-secondary success of students in Manchester’s public schools. He is also a newly elected NH State Representative for District 40. 

Ford’s presentation focused on the topic of community, expanding upon Dr. King’s philosophy of “Beloved Community.” He opened his presentation with the statement, “We share a common world and a common destiny.”  Ford then delved into a discussion of privilege, listing the privileges that have most affected his own life, including having a college education, employment, and a car, and observed, “Privilege is not inherently bad…it’s how you use and acknowledge privilege that can make a difference.” He encouraged the Derryfield audience to “use your platform to amplify marginalized voices.” 

Next Ford introduced the topic of “deploying diversity with intention.” Recognizing it can be difficult to expand one’s friend group, he nonetheless urged the Derryfield students to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable” and to “challenge those around you.” 

In his conclusion, Ford returned to the topic of community.

“We can all build a beloved community. We must use our privilege to stand up and speak up for those in the room. We must take our voice and use it to change hearts and minds and lives. There is no more important voice than the voice of young people. I believe your generation can truly change the world.”

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