To honor Dr. King, the Mayor and his staff spent the weekend listening, learning, reflecting, and working hard at several community events.
Weekend events began for the Mayor and his team on Friday with a thought-provoking and joyful event hosted by Seattle Community Colleges at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Journalist Tonya Mosley hosted the event as part of the Six Words: National ‘Race Card’ Project founded by Michele Norris, host and special correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR), who was the event’s wonderful keynote speaker.
Seeing how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go, Mayor Murray’s six words for the program were: history, future, despair, hope, oppression, and opportunity. The Mayor cited Maya Angelou’s poem ‘On the Pulse of the Morning,’ which was recited at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Mayor Murray cited the line, ‘History, despite its wrenching pain, / Cannot be unlived, and if faced / With courage, need not be lived again.’
On Saturday, the Mayor visited the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute for a chance to listen at the Team American African Diaspora Gathering, which featured a presentation, listening post and panel discussion on the state and interests of African Americans and African Diaspora in Seattle. Speakers introduced ideas and programs in the two communities related to education, digital technology, arts and neighborhoods. The group hopes to expand the sessions beyond yearly presentations. For more information on what was discussed, please visit Danielle Henderson’s coverage of the event for The Stranger.
On Sunday, the Mayor attended service at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, lead by Pastor, Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffrey Sr. which featured a special tribute to Dr. King.
Monday events were kicked off by the 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, where a lively keynote was delivered by Ron Sims, former King County Executive and retired Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The breakfast is an annual event presented by Rev. Allen A, Belton, Senior Partner at Reconciliation Ministries with Breakthrough Partners and The Beloved Community of the Puget Sound Area in cooperation with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee.
Following the breakfast, the Mayor and his staff joined in the celebration at Garfield High School to participate in the Rise Up! Restore the Dream rally. The rally featured an opening performance by the University Presbyterian Gospel choir lead by powerful soloist Veronica Moss, a performance of the Black National Anthem by Patrick Michael, fantastic and thoughtful entertainment by young songwriters and dramatic performers, a tribute to King County Councilman and event organizer Larry Gossett, and a Benediction lead by Founding Pastor at Bethany United Church of Christ Angela Ying.
The Mayor and his staff finished off the day tackling a community service project in the much appreciated sunshine! Green Plate Special, a teaching garden located in South Seattle, hosted us as we helped attach permanent hardware to the sides of gardening beds that will accommodate cloches, or PVC pipe and plastic sheets meant to keep garden beds warm longer. We also spread compost throughout the garden and learned much from the founders of this fantastic space.
On behalf of the Mayor’s office, we thank each and every one of you who invited us to celebrate, listen, share, learn, remember, and march forward for social justice and racial equality.
Photo Gallery of the weekend’s events:
(click on any image to begin the gallery)