Students heard from classmates and speakers about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. during assemblies at all divisions in mid-January.
Serving as speaker at Middle and Upper School assemblies on was educator, art enthusiast, and former NFL/CFL football player Billy McBride.
With his own remarkable life story as the backdrop, McBride spoke to Upper Schoolers in a morning assembly titled Bridge the Gap Through Authenticity. The assembly was organized and led by Diversity in Action.
Having grown up in Syracuse, N.Y., McBride moved out of his family home at 17. He survived being stabbed as a young man, and went on to attend Tennessee State University. After graduating, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and played the majority of his professional football career in the Canadian Football League.
He later received his master’s degree in exercise sciences and sports studies from Smith College — today, he serves as associate athletic director for diversity and inclusion, the director of club sports, and as a senior coach at Amherst College.
“I get to offer you a concise look at my survival and my blessings, as a young man who had to learn to trust and love through those who filled my empty tool box with nuggets of confidence, courage, faith and compassion, and respect for my fellow citizens,” he told Upper School students. “But most important, it is love that has to be shared in order to live a meaningful and productive life.”
McBride, along with Associate Director of DEIB Sean Stanley and Assistant DEIB Director Thomas Nins, read an excerpt from Dr. King’s famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail before students broke into advisory groups for small-group and “fish bowl” discussions led by DIA.
McBride also spoke to Middle Schoolers, adjusting his message to urge courageous choices. He also visited the Lower School, where he met with students in a class and signed autographs.
“I talked about love a lot,” McBride said of his visit to Brunswick. “Love of self, love of community, love of learning. It’s impactful.”
Fourth graders also led a Lower School assembly to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. in mid-January.