Deerfield school stays open to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Two African refugees talked about their experience coming to the U.S.

DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Martin Luther King Jr. Day was NOT a day off at the Bement School in Deerfield. Students and faculty spent the school day reflecting on Dr King’s life and accomplishments.

“We see the legacy of the civil rights movement and we want to be able to play that legacy out with the different struggles that are happening right now in our society, said Christopher Wilson, Head of School at Bement School.

While most schools are closed on Martin Luther King Day, Bement School in Deerfield stays open to honor Dr. King’s legacy. They did that this year through a series of presentations, which included speeches from two refugees.

Two African refugees talked about their experience coming to the U.S. “Here was so happy, so surprising because I saw many things different with my country, in my country i didn’t have a job,” said Justin Ngendakunna, refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Catholic Charities plans to help 51 refugees resettle in Northampton this year. “What we will be doing is making sure that their needs are met and that they are put in a position where they can start the healing and the journeying toward a full and productive life,” said Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Director of Catholic Charities.

The refugees will be coming to Northampton from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Buckley-Brawner also said their organization plans to speak with other Hampden County cities and towns about settling additional refugees.

Related Martin Luther King Jr. Day Coverage: