One of the greatest civil rights activists is celebrated today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In honor of this great man, the 37th annual Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club celebration was held virtually this afternoon.
The Mohawk Valley Frontiers President, Mrs. U'nice Elliott-Jefferson, said "We can make an effort as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did. To understand and to comprehend and replace that violence that's stained of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand compassion and love."
The keynote speaker was the President of Utica College, Laura Casamento. "As we remember the legend of the man from which this luncheon was organized and the movement that led significant policy changes in our constitution. We must also remember his message. A message of hope. A message of how good we can be together."
Two local activists were presented awards today. The first, Reverend Sharon Baugh of Hope Chapel AME Zion of Utica, received the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. The second award was the Friends of the Frontiers Award given to Michelle Truett of 484 Designs.
Also, four local high school students were presented with Scholastic Academic Student Awards for a brighter future. New Hartford High School student, Kerry Campbell, said "I stand proudly on the shoulders of my ancestors and those who have gone on before me, creating the opportunities that we have today." Thomas R. Proctor High School student, Widad Ibrahim, said "The decision to join this organization changed the course of my life in the best way possible."Thomas R. Proctor High School student, Na'Jaia Engram, said "This is a true honor. This wouldn't have been possible without the people in my life who care so deeply for me and my success." Rome Free Academy student, Theodore Issiah-Leon Allah, said "The junior frontiers opened my eyes to a new vision of education. It also introduced me to like-minded young men and women of color."
You can help support the Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club by making a donation online. Also, you can visit their website to see the programs they offer that help the community.
Another virtual celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hosted by the Rome chapter of the NAACP. Many local pastors and members of the organization said a few words. And they shared videos of some of Dr. King's memorable speeches while discussing the lasting impact he's made on the world.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "We must realize, the time is always right to do right." A Rome NAACP member said "The truisms he speaks to are still sadly true today. Imagine 53 years later and the truisms still exist. And the same dark shadows are cast over justice and inequality for people of color." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "Well I don't know what will happen now, we've got some difficult days ahead."
The group took the time today to talk about some issues that are still present today and what they can do to promote change for the future.