Students, town officials, community leaders, and special guests joined at Natick High School on Monday morning to reflect on the inspirations of Martin Luther King, Jr. through speech, song, and poetry.
Natick’s 19th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Celebration was inclusive from the start with Rabbi Dr. Raysh Weiss of Temple Israel of Natick explaining that speakers would be sharing visual descriptions of themselves to help those in attendance with low vision or blindness more fully contextualize the proceedings. Weiss described herself as having an olive complexion, and wearing purple glasses and a tallit, a traditional Jewish prayer shawl.
Highlights of the event included musical performances by the Johnson Elementary School Peacemakers, a string quartet from Walnut Hill School, and the West Street Jazz Ensemble from Natick High.
Students Jabarai Murphy and Winter J’atonie Warner recited the poem “Beautiful Black Child, creative contest winners (Corin D’Orsi, Aanya Sikka, and Grace Zhang) shared their works, and town leaders took part in a community reading of excerpts from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches and sermons.
Keynote speaker Lorna Desroses, evangelization consultant for Black Catholics at the Archdiocese of Boston, described Dr. King as not just an historical figure, but a visionary: “He embodied the spirit of interdependence” that is vital for people to demonstrate today, Desroses said.
Following the event, the public was invited to visit with local community groups and take part in activities.
Natick Pegasus has posted a full recording of the MLK event.
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