Tafeni English quote from her presentation at Trinity-Pawling

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last month, the Trinity-Pawling community welcomed Tafeni English, Director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for a virtual presentation and Q&A session. In her moving and educational seminar, English shared the history, mission, and work of the SPLC — illustrating their vital and ongoing efforts to fight hate, teach tolerance, and seek justice for all. “The SPLC is a catalyst for racial justice in the United States,” she explained. “We work in partnership with communities across the country to dismantle racism, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.”

English also emphasized the profound legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and spoke of his strides for equality and his sacrifice in the service of justice. “It’s up to us to not only quote and study Dr. King, but to live out the principles for which he stood, today and every day. How can we honor his life and legacy? Apathy is not an option. Silence is not an option. Each of us needs to have the courage to stand up and speak up. It starts with your own voice,” she shared.

“Having Ms. English join us in January was fantastic. One of the best ways to confront racism is through education, and Ms. English taught us about the struggles our country continues to face today,” shared Co-Director of College Counseling Slade Mead. “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a leading force for justice in America and learning about their work was an invaluable lesson for everyone in our community.”

Director of Equity and Inclusion Sam Clougher added: “Ms. English brought with her a moving, tough, and informative presentation. We are incredibly lucky to have heard her speak and owe Mr. Mead a debt of thanks for helping bring her to Zoom!”

On behalf of the entire Trinity-Pawling community, we extend a heartfelt thank you to Ms. English and the SPLC for an insightful and thought-provoking presentation!

To watch the full recording of English’s presentation, visit our YouTube channel. To learn more about the Southern Poverty Law Center, visit their website at

by Emma Christiantelli