Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice continues to impact students at Lake Stevens

On MLK Day, we come together to reflect on societal progress and celebrate a man and his sacrifices


Image created by Nathaly Fallas

Creating impact: Josh Binda and the BSU of LSHS bring back the voice of Dr. King. The students and staff of Lake Stevens High School celebrated the legacy and memory of Dr. King with the annual MLK Day Assembly.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought throughout the Civil Rights Movement to create justice for people regardless of their skin color and to spread the idea of peace and love to the country. He believed violence and hate were never the answer, preaching kindness and love. 

He left this world with the hope of change. While things may have changed a lot, his dream has not been fully realized.

“I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr would be happy but also disappointed. I think he’d be happy about the change progression that has occurred here in America and in the world, but also that he’d be disappointed that we are still dealing with the same issues to a different degree than it was before. But now it’s like a whole nother form of social media and all that stuff,“ senior and Vice President of the Black Student Union Emma Tugi said.

Dr. King helped put an end to segregation and spread the message that love conquers all. He helped set the stage for where we are as a society today.

“I would not be sitting in this classroom. I would not be a teacher at Lake Stevens High School…I might have been in the Navy, but I would not have risen to the rank of a commanding officer or captain. . . So my living conditions, my quality of life, where I’ve been able to live, where I’ve been able to go it’s because of him . . . I mean there are not many Black math teachers here [Lake Stevens School District]. I’m the only one here besides Mrs. Etheridge. So there are two,” BSU advisor Rick Odom said. 

The work accomplished throughout the Civil Rights Movement and Civil Rights Act continues to impact all generations. 

“I would be going to segregated school…I think about him a lot when I go makes me think, this sounds so corny, but follow my dreams almost knowing that I can do anything despite what I look like or what I am and that I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to. Doesn’t matter whether you are white or not,” Tugi said.

The sad tragedy of his assassination cut short his plans to better the country. 

“One of his next things I read about somewhere was that he wanted to be here. His next thing was to gather all the people because he could see the disconnect between those who are wealthy and those that have nothing. And so it didn’t matter the color of your skin. He wanted to help all poor people. To move up economically… I also think some of these things all you know, the discrimination and hate speech and all these things. He would have still been, you know, talking about how we as African Americans could be peaceful demonstrators. We don’t do that anymore. And I think we should be so sometimes I think we should be. So I think he would have continued the work that he was doing. And I think it would have been helpful in this country. And then as a since the United States, we tend to set the example for the world, then I think it was spread around the world,” Odom said.

Tugi considers Dr. King’s emphasis on love relevant to today’s world. 

“I think he would impact the world. Um, see, I think it’s more spreading his message of love. I think it’s really important. I don’t think we get too much of that nowadays. It’s all about accepting but never just loving like accepting people for who they are. But you don’t have to actually love them. But I think that his message of love would be really important,” Tugi said.

Dr. King created a sense of unity between people, and his ideas and accomplishments continue to bring them together for a greater cause.

“I think we could use MLK today, to be honest, because with all of us like the people standing up against different issues and everything. I feel like he would see a lot of division that’s happening. And I think what his message was, to kind of bring us together because he was all about peace and equality,” senior Jesela Sianipar said.

At this time, some students are looking for role models. It is common for people to choose influential people from history as a source of inspiration. Oftentimes students are asked, “If you could meet anyone in history, who would you want to meet?” And Dr. King is a popular option.

“If had the chance to talk to him if he came back today, I think it’d be a great opportunity for me to learn more about his view on equality because I think I get wrapped up sometimes, and when you want to fight for equality that just likes, results in like, kind of not arguing but you know, trying to prove yourself right, but trying to get more guidance on how to come at it at a more peaceful way. And yeah, just to be influenced by his accomplishments,” Sianipar said.

MLK day falls on the third Monday of the year, in celebration of both his birthday and his many accomplishments; due to the man himself, being born on Jan.15, 1929. After his assassination on April 4, 1968, people fought for this day to become a national holiday, almost 40 years after the idea was presented to Congress (1968). Every state in the union started to recognize and observe the day as a national holiday (2000). The first state to recognize the national holiday was Michigan, and the last state was Arizona. 

Jan. 16, 2023, is a day to celebrate one of the most impactful voices from the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. earned himself a national holiday, meant for community and remembrance. 

Although some states used this day to also recognize confederate general Robert E. Lee since his birthday falls a few days after King. The idea of celebrating both persons at the same time fell short with most old confederate states. Except those of Alabama and Mississippi, who still do to this day celebrate it.  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr made many sacrifices during his life for the better of the people. During his career, he accomplished many things: one of his best-known achievements being his peaceful march on Washington and his famous “I have a dream” speech. His speech’s goal was to bring to light the inequalities of the nation. To ask for a better world where everyone was seen as equal.

The world is a better place due to the sacrifices and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and participants in the Civil Rights Movement. With his voice and ideas, he created a community of people and taught people to stand up for what they believe is right without backing down while staying true to his peaceful values and humility.  

Lynnwood City Councilman Josh Binda spoke at this year’s MLK Jr. Assembly which was organized and hosted by LSHS’s Black Student Union. Binda shared four concepts with the student body: Action, Execution, Love, and Unity. These ideas were based on Dr. King’s values and teachings. Binda also built off King’s quintessential “I Have a Dream” Speech and brought the message and idea to life by encouraging the audience to make their dreams a reality.