How Marin Luther King Jr. Inspired You: Before I did the foundation for twenty years, I was the headmaster of Parks School in Brookline. And before that, teacher at Newton High School. During those early years as a teacher and school head, I was very involved in civil rights activities, including going South and protesting and whatever else white guys could do to show a partnership against the incredible injustices in the South. And I think really, as a school person, I tried to engage my high school students in understanding, as well as how we can take action and be more socially responsible. Ultimately, it turned out that we had every member of my faculty and parent body go through this work, and we all learned we thought we knew a lot, but actually had a lot to learn. That was really the beginning.
After I retired from Headmaster for two weeks, I had been involved with like minds and we now have a Martin Luther King day of service (21st), but it was a direct model or steal from when we went to President Obama’s inaugural four years ago, where we had a thousand of us do a day of service, and it inspired us that you could in fact start with a day of service in which hundreds and thousands of people could be involved, and the hopefully in their life figure out ways to deal with the other days of the year.
I really started out seeing MLK as a model and a teacher, and now I’m seeing him as an inspiration to see how many people we can engage in service with and for our fellow citizens.