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Briarcliff High School Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.

Briarcliff's chorus performs at an assembly honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Briarcliff students and faculty stand as one at an assembly honoring King. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Briarcliff faculty and students took part in the assembly honoring King. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Briarcliff High School is keeping the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive.

On Thursday, STAR (Stand Together Against Racism), Student Coalition for Human Dignity and Student Briarcliff held an assembly to honor King and preach unity and togetherness with Briarcliff High School's message "We Are One."

The assembly featured a video montage set to John Lennon's "Imagine," and students read quotes from people like Maya Angelou and Mahatma Gandhi.

"What's going on? What is happening? We are counting on you to pick it up and make things better," Principal Debora French said.

Brigitte Obermeyer, who is South African, and Marcela Ibarra, who is Ecuadorean said they want Briarcliff to promote multiculturalism and not stereotypes.

"A lot of times when people see someone who is Latin, they automatically think she's Mexican," Ibarra said.

"We want Briarcliff to act together," Obermeyer said. "We are all part of this community."

Shray Khanna said Briarcliff High School is a place that celebrates all people.

"Everyone is so respectful and friendly," Khanna said. "We need to reflect on who we are as a person and make changes if necessary."

Khanna said events like the attacks in Paris make Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is observed as a national holiday on Monday, even more relevant

"That is a result of ignorance and hatred," Khanna said.

Julianna Cabecca said Martin Luther King Jr. Day is about celebrating our differences and bringing people together. She praised Briarcliff for being a place accepting of all ideas.

"Briarcliff is very open," Cabecca said. "Everyone has a voice."

School Superintendent James Kaishian said the day is about remembering a man who helped turn the tide of racism.

"It's about understanding what one person can do against overwhelming odds," Kaishian said. "He changed our perceptions and made the community a better place."

Kaishian echoed his students by saying what makes Briarcliff special is how accepting it is.

"We embrace the contributions that everyone can make," Kaishian said. "We really accept people's differences."

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