Civil Rights Speak Out!!

Civil Rights Speak Out! On Monday January 15th SCI Dorchester celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the community proving that the spirit and work of Dr. King has not died and pledging their commitment to use their own skills to end civil injustices. Bringing together citizens of all ages, SCI gathered to celebrate and continue the legacy of Dr. King promoting the concept of January 15th as “a day on, not a day off”.

The evening began with a slide show presentation by Mr. Cagen Luse commemorating the countless activists who, alongside Martin Luther King, fought for equality of all people. Following the presentation, Dr. Kerri Greenidge author of Boston’s Abolitionist local historian and scholar energetically enlightened the audience explaining the civil rights legacies right here in Boston. She challenged participants to embrace to positive images of civil rights leaders in Boston and transcend the negative stereotypes that often plague our community.

 The second segment of the evening reminded participants that the Civil Rights movement is still occurring today. Community members and groups energized the audience with amazing artistic expression. Youth members of the Boston Project Ministries reminded the audience whose footsteps we are following in with a dynamic step dance incorporating quotes from Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream speech.” Keeping the energy up was Terrance Tran, a young rap artist who expressed the views of young people and the importance of ended racism and violence against all people. Talented young Caiana Luse continued the exploration of civil rights with a violin performance and Marym Canty a versatile young dancer performed a mix of ballet and African movement to finish off the segment.
This brought the event to focus on the future and what is to come of the Civil Rights movement. Spoken word artist and Dorchester Youth Council member, Grace Ejiwale passionate proclaimed that there is still a great deal of work to be done until we have fully lived out the dreams of the civil rights activists. She challenged the audience to change systems of oppression in her piece, “American Bible”. The event concluded with all participants joining in unison for a powerful pledge of commitment to individually commit to continuing the fight for justice. Children and adults alike felt empowered and enthusiastic.

Thanks to the generosity of Fair Foods, each participant was able to bring home a cake in honor of Dr. King’s birthday with candy and tea also provided for parents. Continuing the chances for artistic expression participants were able to sign the “Honor the Dream” banner that will be displayed in the near future. The Civil Rights Speak Out sponsored by SCI Dorchester brought together young and old to celebrate and remember the rich history and exciting future of civil rights right here in Dorchester!