MLK Day at Frederick Gunn

2 mins read

By Sloane Walsh ’25

On January 16, Mr. Drew brought speakers Kip Bordelon and Pascale Musto to present Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on the United States. Martin Luther King Day is usually a day off for public schools, but unfortunately, some private schools just continue with classes. Still, the student body was lucky enough to hear two intelligent and opinionated speakers teach about Martin Luther King Jr. and dive into his work fighting for civil rights in the 1960s.

The day began with Kip presenting who he is, a brief history of racial injustices, and a deeper understanding of the black experience in the United States. Kip attended Lawrence Academy, where he was the head proctor, led clubs on campus, and played basketball. He told students about his experiences with racial injustice, even while attending Lawrence. Kip gave an insightful presentation on different cases of racial injustice in the history of the United States. He also talked about recent topics of police brutality towards black men and boys. More interestingly, he spoke about how white males are treated like boys in the United States, and black males are treated like men. Kip looked back on tragic cases, such as the shooting of Tamir Rice. He was a twelve-year-old boy who was shot in November of 2014 in Ohio because officers thought the replica toy gun he had was real. Kip gave an excellent presentation that kept students interested and involved. He showed his opinions but was very respectful with his words. Kip used humor to make the presentation a little bit lighter, especially considering the weight of the topic. 

After Kip’s presentation, Pascale came to talk to students about the feeling of “otherness” and how that impacts the American experience. Pascale grew up in Connecticut and attended Choate Rosemary Hall as a day student. He played soccer, hockey, and lacrosse during his time there. Pascale told the group about a head injury that changed how people looked at him. He sustained a severe injury to his head in high school and had to wear a halo brace with rods stuck into his head, which doctors had to shave to complete their operation. When Pascale would walk around towns like Wallingford and New Haven, people would stare at him because of this brace. People on the streets referred to him as “it” or a “thing” instead of recognizing that he was a person with feelings and emotions.

Kip began the afternoon with a comparison of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, another civil rights activist who took a more violent approach to his activism than Dr. King. Kip wanted to show that although Dr. King was a non-violent activist, his speeches and protests still displayed strong ideas about race and many other civil rights in the United States. Something interesting that Kip did was compare a common saying heard at protests in today’s climate, “No justice, no peace,” to a similar quote from Dr. King. Dr. King says, “true peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” 

Kip and Pascale’s presentation was an excellent way for students to learn more about the life and impact of Martin Luther King Jr. and the black experience in the United States. As a private school full of students from around the world, the school and community must acknowledge these holidays so that students can learn about the importance of figures like Martin Luther King Jr. 

Photo via The Frederick Gunn School

Latest from Blog


By Thomas Vo ’25 We should all have a love for the Frederick Gunn School. FGS

The Masters

By Alex Johnson ’23 Every April the world of golf shifts its focus to Augusta Georgia,

FGS Chamber Concert

By Thomas Vo ’23 The school’s musical department, consisting of many talented students, performed a concert

%d bloggers like this: