Students from Walled Lake Consolidated Schools perform at the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. The celebration includes dinner, student performances and a keynote speaker.

Students from Walled Lake Consolidated Schools perform at the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. The celebration includes dinner, student performances and a keynote speaker.

Photo provided by Judy Evola


Walled Lake schools to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 5, 2018

 Honoring Martin Luther King Jr., members of the West Bloomfield High School percussion line and community members process down Orchard Lake Road during the 22nd annual United We Walk event, held Jan. 17, 2016.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr., members of the West Bloomfield High School percussion line and community members process down Orchard Lake Road during the 22nd annual United We Walk event, held Jan. 17, 2016.

File photo by Donna Agusti

WALLED LAKE — The Walled Lake Consolidated School District is set to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15, with a community celebration. 

The 19th annual celebration will take place at Walled Lake Northern High School starting at 5 p.m. 

“It really is such an important thing, because our school district really values the great diversity that we have,” said Alec Bender, principal of Wixom Elementary School and co-chair of the Diversity Committee that organizes the celebration. “This event honors Dr. Martin Luther King, but it’s also about celebrating diversity within our school district and community. It’s a very important event to our school district.”

The celebration includes a multicultural dinner catered by local restaurants and an exhibition of student work. All 19 schools in the district have made displays relating to the theme of the night, “Building Empathy in Our World: Understanding and Caring for Each Other.” 

The theme of empathy is also a broader focus that the district has taken on for the school year. 

The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will feature school choirs, student presentations, awards and speaker Caleb White. 

White is a former Walled Lake Consolidated School District student and currently attends Detroit Catholic Central High School. He is the founder of the Caleb White Project, a nonprofit that helps the homeless through youth volunteering. 

Since he was 6, White has been volunteering to help the homeless and less fortunate in the Detroit area. 

“He has been doing amazing work with the homeless and needy in inner-city Detroit,” said Bender. “He’s so humble and so passionate about serving the needy.”

White will speak about demonstrating empathy in people’s daily lives and reaching out to others through community service. 

“We’re truly blessed to work in such a diverse school community,” said Nayal Makhtar, principal of Pleasant Lake Elementary School and co-chair of the Diversity Committee. “We’re really dedicated to celebrating it.” 

The MLK Day celebration is free and open to the entire community. There are no tickets, but the organizers of the event encourage people to bring donations of canned and boxed food for the Cass Community Social Services food pantry. 

The MLK Day celebration will be held at Walled Lake Northern High School, 6000 Bogie Lake Road in Commerce Township. 

The West Bloomfield School District is hosting its own MLK Day celebration on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 2:15 p.m. at West Bloomfield High School. The theme of the event, hosted by United We Walk, is “What are you doing for others?” and it will feature a march down Orchard Lake Road. 

For more information, visit www.wlcsd.org.