This year, Little Flower will be dedicating an entire week to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Starting Tuesday, January 19th, our Black Student Union will have a table set up in the lunchroom illustrating the life and impact of MLK. Thank you to Mr. Elliot for all his work with the BSU. In conjunction with our Women's speaker series, Little Flower was delighted to host Dr. Nicole Stokes as our latest guest speaker this past Wednesday. Dr. Stokes is currently the Associate Provost of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Saint Joseph’s University, where she started just last year. She is also a professor of sociology.
Prior to her time on Hawk Hill, Dr. Stokes worked at Holy Family University in the role of Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Diversity. There, Dr. Stokes led efforts to develop programming, training, surveys, and curricula focused on diversity and inclusion. She was instrumental in the implementation of diversity modules in the first-year experience course, the general education curriculum, and the capstone course at Holy Family. Her work certainly serves as a model moving forward for all educators and leaders.
During her time speaking with our Little Flower community, Dr. Stokes emphasized the importance of being an engaged citizen through civil discourse, especially now as high schoolers. These are two things that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. felt strongly about. It is not enough to sit on the sidelines and watch, we all must be active allies for everyone. Dr. Stokes also highlighted the idea that we must allow ourselves to enter conversations with the objective of listening and learning, not teaching and preaching. This is what truly allows us to grow and improve as individuals. A quote from her presentation that resonated with many of us read “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” This quote sums up Dr. King’s emphasis on allyship and civil discourse well. It was also interesting to hear the connection Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has to Philadelphia, as he attended a parish in Chester while auditing classes at the University of Pennsylvania.
We also really appreciated having a few minutes at the end for a Q and A with Dr. Stokes, allowing us to take a closer look at her journey as a leader. The entire Little Flower community extends its gratitude to Dr. Stokes for meeting with us. We certainly look forward to having her back in the future.