New Trier welcomes nationally renowned speakers for MLK Seminar Day on Jan. 18

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson will be the keynote speaker as New Trier High School hosts a seminar day exploring the issues of race and racial identity on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Wilkerson, who wrote The Warmth of Other Suns, will discuss her research into the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South during the 20th Century and how that migration continues to affect American society today. On the Northfield Campus, Ilyasah Shabazz, author of Growing Up X, will tell students about her experience growing up as the daughter of civil rights leader Malcolm X.

"We are thrilled to host these nationally renowned speakers as we devote a day to celebrating Dr. King's legacy," said Tim Hayes, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. "It is important for us to help our students think critically about race and its impact on American culture and society as we all work toward a future in which Dr. King's dreams are realized."

In addition to the keynote sessions, students will attend two workshops offered by New Trier staff and outside presenters on topics ranging from civil rights protest music and spoken word poetry to an examination of racial housing patterns and incarceration rates in the United States.

"Current events show us that there is still much work to be done toward creating a world in which people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin," said Dr. Linda Yonke, Superintendent of New Trier Township High School District 203. "We are proud to spend a day exploring these important topics."

The MLK Seminar Day on Race is part of New Trier High School's ongoing work toward equity and global citizenship, goals outlined in the District's last strategic plan.