Upper School students crowded into the WEC for the 2018 opening ceremony of the MUN conference, focused on redefining privilege and putting its advantages to better use. After a teaser of the Rock of Ages musical, which will take place on April 12, guest speaker, Father Alejandro Solalinde, took over the microphone with an opening speech.
Alejandro Solalinde is a Mexican Catholic priest and defender of human rights. He has publicly decried the abuses committed against undocumented Latin American migrants and has been threatened multiple times by criminal organizations, forcing him to seek political refuge in the U.S. In February 2007, Solalinde founded the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino" in Oaxaca, with the aim of providing a safe place for migrants and to offer them food, shelter, medical and psychological attention and legal aid.
During his speech, Father Solalinde praised the ancient peoples of Mexico, reminding us how our indigenous population still lives with a deep respect for the Earth and has a strong sense of community and family; values which he considers have been lost it today's system. He expressed how ultimately the future of tomorrow is up to the youths of today, who have the power to create the positive change they want for the world.
After his speech, Father Solalinde answered carefully articulated questions by the MUN students, who were adept at challenging him in subjects such as his political preferences, his way of earning migrants trust amidst our harsh reality and his role as a defender of human rights as member of the church, which could seem contradictive. This event demonstrated how concerned our students are of these critical subjects and how they are never afraid to raise their voices and question the world at large.