The F-block assembly in the MLK room served as a chance for the school community to learn about religion and its relationship to gender. To begin the assembly, junior Komal Wasif introduced three religious leaders from the Boston area, who each spoke about their religion.
First to speak was Episcopal priest Gretchen Grimshaw of St. Paul’s Parish in Newton. Grimshaw first spoke about what it means to be a Christian, saying that generalizations about Christians are “alternative facts,” in reference to Donald J. Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway. She then spoke about the role of women in the Bible, saying that many female Biblical figures are overlooked or misconstrued. Grimshaw also spoke about women’s struggles in the Church, as women are still not allowed to be ordained as priests in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and have only been allowed ordination in the Episcopal Church since 1974.
The second speaker was Tali Puterman, a member of the staff of Temple Israel in Boston. Puterman, like Grimshaw, spoke about a relative lack of female role models in the scripture of her religion, the Torah. She said, however, that in the Boston area there are many female rabbis, and that through reform Judaism, she has found a balance between social justice and religious involvement.
Last to speak was Malik Khan of the Islamic Center of Boston, a mosque located in Wayland. Khan started by saying that Islam does not have an official hierarchy and that there are no authoritative figures; it is all about a relationship between follower and higher power. Next, he emphasized equality in Islam. He said that in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, men and women are consistently described as equals. He passed out a list of passages from the Quran to help illustrate his point.
Each guest was met with applause from the MLK room audience, and each of the speakers stayed after their speech was over in order to answer students’ questions individually.