Caleb King '13 Delivers Chapel Talk

Caleb King ’13 issued a call for self-reflection and accountability to all members of the Millbrook School community via a remote chapel talk. Mr. King unwaveringly recounted an unconscionable racist attack suffered during his first year at Millbrook and described how the incident affected the rest of his experience and informed the career choice he has made subsequently. 

Mr. King, a Columbia Law School graduate, turned to the law to become “an advocate for disenfranchised communities.” He spoke of our current time as one of reckoning for white people and urged vigilance and participation in addressing the injustices visited upon Black and Brown people. “There is simply no replacement for empathetic and active community members,” he said, continuing, “Racism truly flourishes when it is unchallenged.”

Mr. King praised Millbrook for committing to diversity and for encouraging students to consider their privilege in how they pursue a freer and more just society. As the only Black student in his class for the first three years of his time at Millbrook, Mr. King endured racial slurs and a decided lack of empathy and understanding, causing him to feel isolated, weak, and vulnerable. His resolve, especially remarkable as a young teenager, underpinned his success at Millbrook. The failure of his classmates to intervene on his behalf, or to speak out in his defense inspired him to serve others through the law.

Without reproaching or accusing, Mr. King challenged the Chapel Talk audience to consider three concepts in moving forward. First, never rely on others to lead the way. Secondly, become aware of privilege and be prepared to use that privilege to make change. Finally, “Speak up and stand up to wrong,” said Mr. King. “Don’t underestimate the power you guys have when you use your voice.”
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