Mayor Menino Joins TARGET, The Museum of African American History and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras to Present a Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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For Immediate Release
January 15, 2013
Released By:
Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment
For More Information Contact:
Ryan McMahon
Arts@cityofboston.gov

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Target® in partnership with the Museum of African American History (MAAH) and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) present Boston’s 11th annual “A Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” on Monday, January 21 at 1 p.m. in Faneuil Hall. The event is free and open to the public and will include a moving selection of classical music, spirituals and freedom songs performed by the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras’ Intensive Community Program, conducted by Marta Zurad.  A speaking program will include a distinguished roster of leaders evoking the power and promise of this incredible civil rights hero. 

As 2013 is the Sesquicentennial of the historic proclamation and of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the first black soldiers from the north to serve in the Civil War, the Mayor’s Office and BYSO will join the Museum in commemorating the 150th anniversary.  Given the significance of these milestones, this year's tribute presents an ideal opportunity to showcase Dr. King’s Emancipation Proclamation Centennial Address on the Presidential Order to liberate men, women and children enslaved in states in rebellion during the Civil War.  The military, humanitarian, and oratory leaders will read from the speech delivered in New York City on September 12, 1962, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the preliminary proclamation on September 22, 1862 and his official proclamation on January 1, 1863.  The event also will recognize the 50th anniversary of his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered August 28, 1963 in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

 

“Every year I look forward to this incredible event as we honor and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Mayor Menino said.  “What better way to commemorate these significant historic events and this iconic figure than through music, spoken word, history, and volunteer service opportunities? I invite all Bostonians to join us as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King.”

 

Ernest G. Green, Member of the Little Rock Nine and Consultant, will deliver the keynote address. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, September 22, 1941, Green earned his high school diploma from Central High School in Little Rock. He and eight other black students were the first to integrate Central High, following the 1954 US Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared segregation illegal. They later would become known as the “Little Rock Nine.” Green then went on to receive his bachelors in social science and masters in sociology from Michigan State University. He also received honorary doctorates from Michigan State University, Tougaloo College, and Central State University.

Ernest G. Green is presently the Managing Director of Public Finance for Lehman Brothers’ Washington, DC office. He has also been ap­pointed as chairman of the African Development Foundation, by President Clinton, and chairman of the Histori­cally Black Colleges and Universities Capital Financing Advisory Board by Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley.

Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Green was president of Ernest Green & Associates, a minority consulting firm that provided technical assistance in marketing, financial management, and economic forecasting. Green served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training during the Carter Administration where he formu­lated the US Presidential Policy and directed implementation of a vast range of activities.

Green is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Leadership Council, the Legislative Action Committee of the Public Securities Association, and chairs the National Association of Securities Professionals and Africare. Recently, he joined Winrock International’s board of directors. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the March of Dimes Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. The recipient of numerous awards Green was the youngest recipient of the NAACP’s Spingard Medal, at the age of seventeen. On November 9, 1999, President Clinton presented Green, along with the rest of the “Little Rock Nine,” the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor given to a civilian, for outstanding bravery during the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Several books, movies and documentaries have been produced chronicling Green and his eight classmates historic year at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas – the most recent being the Ernest Green Story, pro­duced and distributed by the Walt Disney Corporation.

In addition to the keynote speaker, a distinguished roster of leaders will read from Dr. King’s Emancipation Proclamation Centennial address.  This roster includes Marvin Gilmore, Military Leader; Reverend Doctor Gloria White Hammond, Humanitarian Leader; and Regie Gibson, Oratory Leader.

Marvin E. Gilmore Jr. is a decorated World War II veteran and first African-American in New England to be awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award, for his role in liberating France and for his bravery and dedication in the face of discrimination during and after his heroic military service.  He stormed Normandy’s beaches on June 6, 1944 and on D-day, when Allied forces invaded France, Gilmore was assigned to an antiaircraft unit that provided cover for American soldiers landing on Utah and Omaha beaches.  Although he had hoped to serve in a band, he was assigned to a combat unit, but finished his time in Europe by attending the Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow.  Back in the United States, Gilmore cofounded the Unity Bank in Roxbury, the first black-owned commercial bank in Boston, and played key roles in redevelopment of the Southwest Corridor, the Newmarket industrial district, and the CrossTown industrial park near the Boston Medical Center in Roxbury.  He has been president of the Community Development Corporation of Boston since 1973 and owns The Western Front nightclub near Central Square in Cambridge.  In 2007, the Boston Globe chose Gilmore as one of Boston’s most stylish people.

The Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond is co-founder and co-pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur.  A pediatrician at Boston's South End Community Health Center since 1981, she has a long history of involvement in community service.  She created "Do the Write Thing" for high-risk African-American adolescent females, a creative writing/mentoring program started in 1994 with four girls, now serving more than 250 young women at churches, schools and juvenile detention facilities.  White-Hammond’s humanitarian work in several African countries includes Botswana, Cote D'Ivoire, and South Africa.  Since 200, numerous trips into war-torn Sudan helped obtain the freedom of 10,000 women and children.  She co-founded "My Sisters Keeper", the humanitarian group which has partnered with women of Sudan, founded a School for Girls, and taken a leading role in demanding an end to the genocide.   Doctor White-Hammond serves on boards for Brigham and Women's Hospital, Tufts University, American Anti-Slavery Group in Boston, and Christian Solidarity International in Zurich, Switzerland.  Her degrees include a Bachelors from Boston University, a Doctorate from Tufts Medical School, and a Masters from Harvard Divinity School.  Her many recognitions include the Humanitarian Award of the Boston Theological Institute (2004), the Liberating Vision Award of the Greater Boston Section of the National Council of Negro Women (2004) and the Impact Award from AARP (2004). 

Regie Gibson is a former National Poetry Slam Champion who has lectured and performed widely in the United States, Cuba, and Europe.  In 2008, as a representative of the U.S., Gibson competed for and received the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy.  He and his work appear in love jones, a feature film based on events in his life.  He also has been featured on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, various programs on National Public Radio, and has been nominated for a Boston Emmy.  Gibson is a recipient of both the Walker Scholarship for poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a YMCA Writer's fellowship.  He has been published in Poetry magazine, Harvard's Divinity Magazine, the Iowa Review, and numerous other regional and national publications.  His volume of poems, Storms Beneath the Skin, received the Golden Pen Award.  In 2010, Gibson received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for Poetry and the 2010-11 Lexington Education Foundation Program Grant.  He performs regularly with his literary music ensemble Neon JuJu.

Since the fifty-seventh Presidential Inauguration ceremony is taking place Monday, January 21st, the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events will screen the Presidential inauguration ceremony from 11:00 – 12:30pm in the same location at Faneuil Hall right before “A Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

In keeping with the spirit of Dr. King's legacy, the City of Boston and Boston Cares are organizing a service event at the Curley School in Jamaica Plain on Monday, January 21, 2013.  Hundreds of volunteers will be given the opportunity to choose from various service projects. Participants will be able to engage in different activities such as working together on a mural, making scarves, building educational kits or decorating quilt squares which will benefit agencies throughout the Boston Metro area. There will be a variety of different projects and people coming together to serve their communities and celebrate their differences.

There will be two volunteer sessions; the first session will be from 10:00-12:00 pm and the second will be from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Registration will be available through the Boston Cares website, www.bostoncares.org.  This is a family friendly event.

 

 

About Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras

The mission of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) is to encourage artistic excellence in a nurturing environment by providing the highest quality orchestral training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians, grades K-12, while making its programs accessible to underrepresented youth through financial aid and outreach. Widely regarded as one of the country’s finest youth orchestra programs, BYSO is recognized as both a model music and arts education organization. BYSO now serves nearly 500 students annually from more than 120 communities throughout New England. Under the leadership of Music Director Federico Cortese, BYSO has become one of Boston’s most prestigious cultural organizations with a programmatic scope that includes three full symphonic orchestras, two string training orchestras, six chamber orchestras, a preparatory wind ensemble, a chamber music program, and the Intensive Community Program, a nationally recognized string training program for underrepresented youth from inner-city communities.  BYSO has built a strong international touring presence performing in world-renowned venues.  Six years ago, Mr. Cortese initiated an opera program.  Now, every year BYSO’s premier orchestra presents a full semi-staged opera and is the only youth orchestra in the United States to do so. For 56 years BYSO has been in residence at Boston University. In 2012, BYSO and the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced a new partnership for the future of classical music, “BYSO/BSO: Partnering for the Future”.

 

About the Intensive Community Program

Marta Zurad, ICP Conductor - Nicole Cariglia, ICP Director

BYSO believes that every child benefits from engagement in the pursuit of artistic excellence provided in a nurtur­ing environment. In 1999, BYSO recognized a need to reach out to students in underserved communities in the Boston area to extend this valuable opportunity. The Intensive Community Program (ICP), a nationally recognized string instrument training program, serves underrepresented students in classical music with the goal of preparing them for successful auditions leading to membership in BYSO’s orchestras. ICP accepts young students (ages 5-8) who show exceptional interest in studying stringed instruments and pro­vides them with scholarship assistance for weekly music lessons, ensemble classes and instrument rental. Once admitted into a BYSO orchestra, ICP students receive support in the form of need-based tuition scholarship, weekly lessons and use of an instrument until they graduate from high school. The program’s success is based on the com­munity spirit that has been built which encourages students to achieve accelerated musical growth. ICP currently serves 69 students.  For the past 14 years, the National Endowment for the Arts has supported the ICP. NEA panelists have praised the high artistic quality and teaching methods of the ICP, calling it a model music training program for underserved youth. Locally, the Massachusetts Cultural Council recognized the artistic merit of BYSO and ICP with the Com­monwealth Award, the state’s highest honor in the arts.

 

About Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket

Dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of black patriots, entrepreneurs, activists and educators from the Colonial Period through the 19th century, the Museum of African American History has four unique historic sites and amazing collections.  Exhibits and programs at the Museum’s National Historic Landmarks in Boston and Nantucket highlight the powerful story of extraordinary community leaders and ordinary citizens who changed the course of American history.  The crown jewel of these sites, the African Meeting House on Boston's Beacon Hill, is the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States; now newly restored and open as a showcase of American freedom and craftsmanship.  Monumental historical events were hosted at this anti-slavery church, with Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Maria Stewart among giants of the Abolitionist Movement who rallied there to demand equal rights and recruit blacks to play a defining role in the Civil War.  Visit the Museum of African American History and hear inspiring stories.  Explore all of the historic sites and Black Heritage Trails® in Boston and Nantucket.  Take a tour, guided by National Park Service Rangers in Boston,  and enjoy collections of artifacts, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, manuscripts, antique and contemporary journals, documents, books, and material culture.  Visit maah.org or call 617-725-0022 x222 (Boston) or 508-228-9833 (Nantucket).

 

About Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events

The Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events fosters the growth of the cultural community; promotes public participation in the arts and public celebrations; and advances cultural tourism in Boston. Visit our website at www.cityofboston.gov/arts.

 

About Boston Cares

Boston Cares organizes and leads team oriented volunteer opportunities throughout Greater Boston that have a positive impact on individuals and communities.

A Day of Service and Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

is presented by TARGET and co-sponsored by Metro Boston.  Events are free and open to the general public.  For further information visit www.cityofboston.gov/arts or call 617-635-3911.

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