Pace Academy Observes MLK Day with Sunday Supper, Service

The Pace group served breakfast to people who are homeless at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta. Photo: Jonny Sundermeier

The only federal holiday dedicated to service in the United States, marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Day is a big day for the Pace community. Pace students embraced the day in different ways, through volunteering with various organizations and discussing Dr. King’s vision at Pace’s third annual Sunday Supper on the eve of MLK Day. 

Led by juniors Jonny Sundermeier and Kate Mallard, a group heads down to the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta on the third Sunday of every month, and did so again for the Sunday before MLK Day. Early on the morning of Jan. 19, while most other students were still asleep, juniors Evan Smith-Rooks, Hayley Cavinder, Sarah Schultz and Kathryn Hood accompanied Sundermeier along with some lower schoolers to serve breakfast to church visitors who are homeless.

ICGL Associate Director Ted Ward and Associate Athletic Director Chad Wabrek went to help out, too. “We served food, made connections and built relationships with the guests,” said Sundermeier. “I think we once again represented Pace Academy well.”

On MLK Day, a group comprised of all upper school grade levels took a trip to Washington Park, in Northwest Atlanta near the Atlanta Beltline, to help clean up the park. Projects included “clearing plants, painting, improving flower beds, collecting litter and mulching trees,” according to the Pace website. Partners for the day included The Conservancy at Historic Washington Park, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and Park Pride. Sophomore Allison Silverboard coordinated the service project and senior Finn Lamastra, juniors Myles Bolton and Laura Romig, and freshmen Victoria and Madison Hadley and Sara Mazur joined Silverboard. 

Pace Academy also hosted Sunday Supper the day before MLK Day. The event is held in partnership with Hands on Atlanta, a nonprofit, volunteer-focused organization. Many Sunday Suppers take place around Atlanta, but Pace’s event is the first hosted by a high school.

Every year, the theme for Sunday Supper changes. This year the theme was titled King’s 20/20 Vision – The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency of Now. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King stated that now more than ever the nation needs to follow Dr. King’s example in order to achieve the beloved community that MLK wished for. In Dr. King’s eyes, the community was a very realistic, achievable goal to unite around sisterhood and brotherhood, instead of bigotry, prejudice and hate.

Pace faculty, alumni, parents and upper school students were invited to attend, and all spots for the dinner were reserved well before the event. The potluck dinner took place in Knights Hall where the group “broke bread and broke boundaries,” according to Director of Diversity and Inclusion Joanne Brown.

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