Students and Teachers Attend Virtual Presentation Celebrating the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Monica Chen

Last Friday, students and teachers attended a virtual panel discussion honoring and celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event, "On the Frontline of Change," was hosted by Theaterworks and featured esteemed panelists, including CGPS grandparent Dr. Alan Wachtel. Dr. Wachtel first got to know Dr. King through his father, who was Dr. King's attorney and friend. As a teenager, Dr. Wachtel formed his own personal relationship with Dr. King when he served as the civil rights leader's driver and bodyguard. 

Because of his unique relationship with Dr. King, Dr. Wachtel was able to provide the audience with a glimpse into what Dr. King was like as a person: gentle, loving, affable and humorous. He recounted how Dr. King stopped to talk to whoever wanted to speak with him, even if it meant being late to wherever he was going. Dr. King also carried a profound sense of trust in the constitution and believed Americans were inherently good. According to Dr. Wachtel, what truly upset Dr. King were bystanders to hate and bigotry. Otherwise, he had no angry bone in his body.

Dr. Wachtel also spoke about the impact Dr. King had on his own neighborhood. In high school, Dr. Wachtel and his classmates took Dr. King's words to heart and formed a community service club. All around him, Dr. Wachtel noticed people embracing Dr. King's work and beliefs. He and others learned from Dr. King that "social change was not built on anger. It was built on a dream."

Click here to watch the full discussion. 

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