Breck Upper School Students Interview with Leslie Redmond

Breck Upper School students Joseph P. '21, Ayres W. '22, and Maddie M. '22 share their experience interviewing Leslie Redmond, a local community organizer and former President of the Minneapolis NAACP. They also share their excitement for the MLK Symposium and Amplify Our Love with Pie events happening at Breck this upcoming week. Ms. Redmond will be the Upper School keynote speaker for our 20th annual MLK Symposium.

Please introduce yourself to the Breck community:

Joe: I am a senior at Breck and have been here since preschool. This year I love my history and ethics class. Apart from academics, I have enjoyed playing football and being a part of the mentorship program.

Ayres: I came to Breck as a freshman. I really enjoy Advanced Science Research and look forward to taking Music and Film. In addition to classes, I am involved in Model United Nations, the Student Diversity and Inclusion Council, and I play tennis and basketball.

Maddie: I have been at Breck since seventh grade. I love my history and English classes this year, and I am on the swim team.

What is one memorable takeaway from your interview with Ms. Redmond?

Joe: One memorable takeaway is that you can be young and still have a voice and the ability to make a large impact on your community.

Ayres: She reminded me of the power of the collective. She really emphasized the strength that we gain from working together and making our voices heard.

Maddie: I was able to hear her perspective on what it was like to lead the Minneapolis NAACP during the protest against George Floyd’s murder this summer.

What is your “Why” motivation to be part of co-facilitating workshops for the MLK Symposium, to be an organizer for the Amplify Our Love with Pie event at Breck, and to be a part of the interview with Ms. Redmond?

Joe: I love to listen and learn from leaders in my own community. Having that opportunity, honestly, makes me happy and gives me more motivation to make a change.

Ayres: I wanted to be a part of the Sweet Potato Pie conversation because I feel that ignorance is the biggest shortcoming a lot of us have. People don’t want to have conversations about equity or race because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing or feel like they don’t have the information to have a meaningful conversation. When I participate in events and conversations like these, I feel like I am truly making a difference in opening up dialogue about equity and race and helping people gain understanding.

Maddie: I wanted to be involved in all three events because I think the conversation surrounding race is really important right now. If we fail to continue this conversation, important changes in our school and community will not be made.

What are some important points you want your classmates and Breck students, in general, to internalize throughout the next week?

Joe: I want to say that we need to have more conversations and make difficult conversations more common. At Breck, those conversations are essential for positive change.

Ayres: I think students should internalize that you can never know too much. Education is key, so just try to take in as much information and perspectives as you can next week.

Maddie: I would like my classmates to know about the work we have been doing and how important it is to talk about race, listen to our BIPOC classmates and friends, and to support them. Most of all, we need to be comfortable when talking about race, because it’s a conversation that is going to grow, not fade away in the future.

The Amplify Our Love with Pie event that Breck co-hosting with Sweet Potato Comfort Pie to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is coming up on January 17th. You can register here for the event. 

Continue to follow what is happening during Breck's 20th Annual MLK Symposium on Tuesday, January 20th and 21st. Ms. Redmond will be the Upper School's keynote speaker on the 21st.

Thank you to Joe, Ayres, and Maddie for sharing!


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