Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MLK 2011 -- Building on the Dream


(Click on photos for larger view. All photos copyright 2011)

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 2011, I am mindful that it is now 42 years since Reverend King was struck down but that our struggle for equality for all continues.

I attended two Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations in my district that were especially meaningful because they were symbols of what Reverend King stood for:  creating opportunities for a more just society in the future.

The first, held on Sunday, January 16th, was organized by Habitat for Humanity and held at PS 54 in Bedford Stuyvesant. Habitat for Humanity has built thousands of affordable housing units mostly with volunteer labor organized in communities around the world, literally Building the Dream. 

But there was more. The whole program was centered around commemorating Dr. King in recitations by students of the school 

as well as in cultural expressions by young dancers from the school... 

...from the Restoration Dance Company...

...and with music from the Young Acolytes of St. Stevens Steel Drum Band.  

The faces of the audience say everything about the power of this commemoration.

The event the following day, January 17th, was a basketball tournament organized by the Brothers of the Alpha Upsilon Chapter “Brooklyn Omega," that combines sports with social responsibility. All the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, a historically black fraternal organization, are college educated and a great role model for the young men who competed at MS 113 in Fort Greene.  Among them is Robert Cornegy, an elected official Democratic State Committee Man. The fraternity promotes social and cultural programs that help to uplift communities. 

These are not large events, but they are meaningful because they educate young people about the meaning of this special holiday and Dr. King who fought for a better future for coming generations. It has been my privilege to support these organizations and I am grateful for having been part of these events which have shown me that we continue Building on the Dream.