Over 30 students from a local Bradford High School were invited by the University of Bradford last week to exhibit poetry at the Ninth Rosa Parks Symposium.
As guests arrived in the Great Hall Richmond Building, on Friday 13th December, they were greeted by a poetic display from Tong High School Bradford Students. The poems were based on sentiments of Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic speech. Poems were also displayed and presented during the lunch and networking sessions in the afternoon.
This year the symposium was entitled ‘Continuing the Dream: Transformation into an Oasis of Freedom and Justice’.
It has been 50 years since the iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech by civil rights activist and equality champion Martin Luther King Jr and the symposium commemorated the speech’s 50th anniversary, seeking to provide a platform for exploring the achievements thus far and emerging themes on equality, diversity, and inclusion in the UK and across the world.
Stephen Curran, Head teacher at Tong High School said he is ‘proud’ of the ‘diverse community’ at the school, adding that the establishment always ‘endeavours, continuously, to ensure that all students are safe and happy’.
He said: “Every student at the school belongs to a smaller community; we encourage and provide opportunities for students to work together with older and younger year groups. This results in students supporting, mentoring and ‘looking out’ for each other.
“We know that our students will eventually become independent citizens in, what is now very much a global world, where their success and happiness depend on their ability to mix with people from differing backgrounds on both a social and professional level.”
Key note speaker on the day, Mr Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote, was incredibly impressed with the students and their poems. As a result Mr Woolley has vowed to publish a selection of the scripts on the organisations website at www.obv.org.uk.