Judge Glenda Hatchett dares APS students to bring their ‘A game’ during annual Lowery Lecture Series
UPDATE: Watch photo gallery here.
You would be hard-pressed to find an Atlanta Public Schools student, teacher, administrator or board member who wasn’t moved and inspired by the double-barreled blast of inspiration they enjoyed on Monday morning. After enjoying a rousing speech by the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery at the lecture series that bears his name, the audience at Douglass High School received the challenge of a lifetime from guest speaker Judge Glenda Hatchett: “Bring your A game” to life.
Both speakers addressed a packed house that also included APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Atlanta Board of Education Chair Khaatim Sherrer El and fellow board members LaChandra Butler Burks, Emmett Johnson, Cecily Harsch-Kinnane and Brenda Muhammad; and Douglass Principal Dr. Thomas J. Glanton, Jr. The North Atlanta High School Jazz Band provided the musical interludes (see performance here), while the Douglass High NJROTC Color Guard presented the colors. Maynard H. Jackson High seniors Lamarcus Douglas and Quincy Patterson (Center for Engineering and Technology small learning community) presided over the event. Seniors Justine Osborne and Ebony Hayes (of the Fine Arts & Communications small learning community) introduced Rev. Lowery, who has presided over 10 lectures in this series. The civil-rights icon delighted the crowd with his home-spun wisdom and humor in his speech, which can be viewed here and here.
South Atlanta High seniors Mena Johnson and Keshuntra Hunter (of the School of Health and Medical Sciences) introduced Judge Hatchett, who challenge to the students included going out into the audience and asking several students, point blank, about their dreams. Students responded into her microphone with dreams of careers in neuroscience, law and finance. When she returned to the auditorium floor, Judge Hatchett (a graduate of the now-defunct Harper High), turned to Rev. Lowery and noted how none of the students responded with the profession of being “a thug.” It was an emotional moment for the audience, which marveled at Hatchett’s frankness and passion. She was presented with a commemorative crystal bowl. Rev. Lowery enjoyed a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday” (he turns 89 on Wednesday), and Dr. Hall announced that a donation would be made in APS’ name to the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights at Clark Atlanta University.
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: Atlanta Public Schools, Brenda Muhammad, Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Douglass High, Dr. Beverly L. Hall, Ebony Hayes, Emmett Johnson, Judge Glenda Hatchett, Justine Osborne, Kasim Reed, Keshuntra Hunter, Khaatim Sherrer El, LaChandra Butler Burks, Mena Johnson, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, Thomas J. Glanton Jr..