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Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. walks with 7-year-old Eva Grace Lemon and Aretha Willis as they march to integrate schools in Grenada, Miss., in 1966. (AP Photo)

On Monday, NAZ offices were closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We celebrated Dr. King’s work as a prominent Civil Rights leader and a fervent advocate for education.

Recognizing its transformative power, Dr. King believed that education was a fundamental tool for empowering young people to succeed in life, challenge injustice, and contribute to the betterment of society. He emphasized the importance of providing quality education for Black children. He saw education as a means for liberation, essential for ensuring they were not left behind but instead equipped with the tools to shape their destinies and contribute to a brighter, more equitable future.

This belief is one that NAZ also shares – our Northside scholars must not be left behind! NAZ is made up of more than 30 non-profit and education partners, and we all share the goal of supporting scholar academic achievement. Our collaborative work has led to a 23% and 19% improvement in reading and math proficiency, respectively. NAZ scholars also have significantly fewer absences in school than their non-NAZ peers.

Dr. King's legacy serves as a reminder that education goes beyond individual success; it is a dynamic force for positive societal change. Taking a closer look at the meaningful work carried out by NAZ and the noticeable impact our scholars are making throughout the community, it becomes evident that it's about more than just numbers. These efforts are the building blocks of a brighter future, intricately woven into the tapestry of our cherished Northside community.

In the spirit of Dr. King’s vision, we encourage youto take time to reflect on his unwavering commitment to education. Let his legacy remind us of the importance and urgency we all need to act on as we collectively work together to transform our systems for the future of our children.