Visit from Peter Mulvey Inspires

Peter Mulvey PerformanceBy Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Last Friday, the entire student body had the pleasure of spending the lunch period with singer/songwriter/activist Peter Mulvey. Thanks to parents John and Cindy Borders, Peter was in town and came by the High School to perform for and talk with our students. Peter connected quickly with the students when he told them that he knew his life’s path at the age of seven after seeing musicians perform on “The Muppet Show”. He talked about his life on the road, writing songs and performing. A particularly powerful moment came when Peter sang “Take Down Your Flag,” a song he wrote after nine African-American people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, expressing his outrage at the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina statehouse. Particularly on the eve of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, his words felt so important for us all to hear: “It will take all of the love in all of our hearts, and it will also take something more.”  

On Tuesday in Morning Meeting, several members of the Black Students Association read excerpts of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and some of the words particularly resonated with me as I reflected on Peter’s as well: “We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. …  Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

As ever, when I look out in Morning Meeting at the faces of the 155 teenagers assembled there, I am filled with hope, thinking about their dreams for our world and the myriad ways in which – I am positive – they will bring those dreams to fruition.