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Regent Park Students Perform Tribute Video to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day 2021, Joshua Davis, music teacher at Regent Park Scholars Charter Academy, involved students in a creative video and music project titled “He Had a Dream” as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 
MLK Day celebrates the birthday of Dr. King, which is Jan. 15. The holiday is observed on the third Monday of January and is a day to reflect and take action on civil rights issues across the globe and learn about Dr. King’s life and achievements. ​​​​​​​
 
In honor of MLK Day, Davis shared biographical videos with students about Dr. King and the things he stood for. It was important to Davis to expose students to the realities of injustice and racism and how it affects our daily living. “Our youth need to understand the contributions Dr. King established for us to have access to the same opportunities regardless of race, gender, etc.,” said Davis.
 
Davis has a partnership with Michigan Service Squad (MSS), who awarded Davis a grant to produce a service project with his students for MLK Day. 
 
MSS is a youth service zone collaborative initiative to increase volunteer rates and community service-learning engagement. The nonprofit organization is a collaborative effort of My Sister's Keeper and My Brother's Keeper, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan to increase service-learning among youth and adults.
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Davis produced and co-wrote the song with fourth- through seventh-grade students. He and his students composed the words while also learning about mood, hook, and rhythm. Regent Park students were excited to write the lyrics to the song and to participate in the music video as well.   
“I want to give back the instruction, passion, and counsel I was given as a music student in middle and high school,” said Davis. “It fills my heart when I see my students engaged and inspired from the lessons and music they’ve heard or performed in class.”
 
When Donell James, middle school and specials dean at Regent Park, saw the video, he was so proud of Mr. Davis and the students “This video was a sign of their resilience and perseverance. They produced this video despite the circumstances we are currently experiencing.”
 
Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech that was delivered on August 28, 1963 inspired the Regent Park tribute: “He Had a Dream.”
 
Dr. King had a dream. For the nation to live in peace and harmony.
He wanted us to see. We’re all a part of the same humanity.
The fight was never easy. He lost a lot so we can have the victory.
Hate for hate won’t solve a thing, love is the only thing that can do that.
 
You can go where you wanna go.
Do what you wanna do
Ooooooo cause he had a dream
We can learn what we wanna learn.
We have the right to be free.
For he had a dream.
 
He taught us to have peace. When evil tries to keep us from our destiny.  
They want us all to believe. Discrimination rules and reign supreme.  
He had the courage to speak up.  
Through sleepless nights he kept the faith with all his might. 
Let us all march on, 
One day the victory will be won. 
 
The bridge of the music video included Regent Park students reciting what their dream of the world is.
 
“It's truly a blessing to have staff that are willing to give our students experiences such as this,” shared James. “It is encouraging to know that we have teachers in place that are bringing out the best in our students in academics and the arts. Mr. Davis has a desire to tap into the potential of our student's musical talent.”
 
Davis explained that his hope for this song is that it will be a reminder that the sky is the limit for our youth to achieve their dreams. “I hope it will encourage everyone who listens to the song to use their voice for the good of humanity.”