Soul Food Fest and the Soul of the Community

By Sujin Kim ’18, Marketing and Communications Student Intern

Soul Food Fest is an event run by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Club on the last day before Winter Break. Upper School students and teachers come together in the D’Olier room, eat traditional “soul food” and potluck dishes, and share in each other’s company.

MLK, Jr. Club is an Upper School club advised by Upper School Spanish Teacher Lauren Duwel and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Karen Washington. Club officers are Isaac Muñoz ’17, Moises Cosme ’18, Jeremiah Charles ’17 and Siani Lee-Simmons ’18.

“MLK, Jr. Club is a club dedicated to bringing people together,” explains treasurer Siani Lee-Simmons. “The club looks to Martin Luther King Jr. to serve as an example for the work we do: promoting peace and unity in the community, and letting go of our differences, such as race, to come together as one.”  

She also discussed the purpose of the MLK, Jr. Club hosting Soul Food Fest. “Soul Food Fest is the traditional club event,” said Lee-Simmons. “We’ve hosted it for years, and the Upper School community really looks forward it. Not only is it a lot of fun, but the event is an awesome way of bringing the community together. It gives us the opportunity to learn about other cultures and come together over food.”

Students and teachers alike in the Upper School sign up to bring in homemade dishes for the potluck lunch. Favorites include mac and cheese, pulled pork, cornbread, collard greens, brownies, and dozens of others. By the day of the event, the food donation sign-up sheet on the Upper School bulletin board is overflowing. The event is so popular that, in recent years, the club has started selling tickets called “Soul Passes” to bypass the long line, and now offers delivery services for teachers who have classes during the Upper School lunch period and cannot make it to the lunch in person.

Soul Food Fest will be held on Friday, December 16, in the D’Olier Room of the Meeting House.

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