Archive for the ‘Martin Luther King’ Category

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Renovation Plan Gets Hartford Board Of Ed Approval – Hartford Courant

The $68 million revival of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School is back on track after the city board of education endorsed new plans Tuesday night that will be sent to the state for approval.

After working with the state for weeks on the proposal, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez expressed confidence that King, a hulking symbol of educational inequity on a hill in north Hartford, will finally be renovated after years of broken promises.

“When our students come into a building and things are falling apart … they think that that’s all they’re worth,” board member Juan Hernandez said in the elementary school’s auditorium, where spectators sat in broken seats with ripped, faded cushions. The space, frigid on a warm evening, smelled of mildew.

Board member Richard Wareing said King represented the “institutional neglect of our schools.” Despite school overhauls and stunning magnet schools in other neighborhoods, the district said the once-grand, Collegiate Gothic building just west of Keney Park has not received a major renovation since it opened in the 1920s, originally as a high school.

City school leaders and parents who have seen rodents scurrying inside have decried the facility conditions as deplorable and unsafe for children. More than 300 students attend the pre-K-to-grade-8 school named after the civil rights hero, and will remain in the Ridgefield Street building for at least another year, according to the proposal.

Vanessa de la Torre / Hartford Courant

If all goes as planned, the new King could reopen by fall 2020.

Just months ago, the proposed renovation had seemed all but buried. The state shelved the project last year amid a budget crunch, leaving unanswered questions about the school’s fate.

Talks continued behind the scenes. Still, Torres-Rodriguez said she was as surprised as anyone when, in a recent conversation about the renovation of Weaver High School in north Hartford, the state suggested it could cover the vast majority of the King project costs up to 95 percent if Hartford agreed to include a Sheff magnet school, Breakthrough II, inside a revamped King campus.

Vanessa de la Torre / Hartford Courant

Since then, city school officials have been dashing to submit a revised proposal to the state school construction grants office so it could be included as a priority bonding project in the state budget package, whenever it is passed. The legislature has been deadlocked on the budget that carries high stakes for Hartford as the city tries to avoid bankruptcy.

The educational details that the school board approved Tuesday include the big picture: a 800-student campus that would feature a reimagined King Middle School but also include Breakthrough II, an elementary magnet created under the Sheff v. O’Neill desegregation pact. The schools, with 400 students each, would have separate entrances but share common areas such as the cafeteria and media center.

Unlike many Greater Hartford magnet schools, Breakthrough II, which would be renamed Breakthrough North, has gone without a gleaming school facility. Located in a former neighborhood school in north Hartford, the magnet has struggled over the years to attract enough white and Asian students from the suburbs to be counted as integrated.

The King project would take about three years to finish, including a year of planning. Costs would likely exceed the original $68 million price tag, a state construction official told city residents last month.

More broadly, a King middle school would be a key piece of the consolidation puzzle as the city school system facing long-term fiscal uncertainty and dwindling enrollment plans for a future with fewer Hartford schools, Torres-Rodriguez said. The district’s elementary programs currently serve pre-K to eighth grade, a strain on diminishing resources.

If King is reconfigured to accept middle-schoolers from seven neighborhood schools in north Hartford and the Asylum Hill area, that could make it is easier to merge certain elementary schools.

One of Torres-Rodriguez’s chief concerns is keeping families invested in the Hartford schools. With King, she sees a middle-school pathway, built on educational best practices, that could then take students to the modernized Weaver for high school.

The King renovation would maintain the building’s historic architecture. But much of the inside would be demolished, except for the school auditorium.

A hope is that the project could spur neighborhood revitalization, too. “This is not only about the school and education,” Jose Colon-Rivas, the district’s chief operating officer, said at a recent meeting. “It goes above and beyond.”

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Renovation Plan Gets Hartford Board Of Ed Approval – Hartford Courant

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Statue of Fr. Hesburgh & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unveiled in South Bend – WNDU-TV

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – South Bend leaders unveiled a statue of Father Theodore Hesburgh and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday.

The two were photographed in 1964 holding hands in song at a rally at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The project is titled “We Shall Overcome.” It was unveiled at Leighton Plaza in downtown South Bend.

Watch video of the entire ceremony on Facebook.

We had a crew at the march and unveiling, and we’ll have a full report on NewsCenter 16 Wednesday evening.

From the City of South Bend:

Mayor Pete Buttigieg will join Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C, President of the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Virginia Calvin of the African American Community Fund, the Honorable Roland W. Chamblee Jr., who will serve as emcee, monument donors, and guests in unveiling the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Fr. Theodore Hesburgh monument on June 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Leighton Plaza. The monument depicts the famous photograph of Father Hesburgh and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holding hands while singing “We Shall Overcome” at a civil rights rally in Chicago in 1964. The monument, a life-size model of the two icons, will be interactive and allow the public to join the open hands of the two men. It will serve as a reminder of the history of civil rights gains and foster the pride South Bend has in its diversity and dedication to social justice. Placed at the entrance of the plaza, the monument, in conjunction with other improvements, will help transform the space into a lively and engaging community gathering place that promotes unity and dialog.

Residents are also invited to gather at 10:00 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center (1522 Linden Ave) for a march to the unveiling ceremony at Leighton Plaza. Transpo will provide a free shuttle from downtown to the King Center so those participating in the march can park their vehicles downtown, where they will ultimately return for the unveiling. The Transpo shuttles will depart from Washington Street next to the former Hall of Fame Gridiron at the following times: 9:30 a.m., 9:40 a.m., and 9:50 a.m.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Father Theodore Hesburgh were moral leaders of their time. This monument will serve to commemorate their work and inspire others to emulate their courage. Residents of South Bend can join hands with the two men and remember the sacrifices they made in the name of justice and equality, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.

The monument was designed by internationally renowned local sculptor Tuck Langland and is funded through private donations with many organizations, institutions, and individuals supporting, including: the African American Community Fund, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, University of Notre Dame, Arthur J. Decio, Dorene & Jerry Hammes (with appreciation to Melanie Chapleau, Personal Assistant), Jerry H. Mowbray, Great Lakes Capital, Visit South Bend Mishawaka, and the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority.

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Statue of Fr. Hesburgh & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unveiled in South Bend – WNDU-TV

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SCLC and Confederate group clash over lawmaker’s MLK statue decision – Atlanta Journal Constitution

The president of the organization founded in 1957 by Martin Luther King Jr., said he wants the name of state Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson) included on a plaque that will accompany a statue of King that will soon be unveiled at the state capitol.

That is if Benton believes in justice.

But a member of organization charged with keeping the memory of the Confederacy alive says Benton has every right to remove his name from a statue honoring King. He said the lawmaker probably felt betrayed by his colleagues.

Earlier this month,Benton asked that his name be omitted completely from the statue after a request was made to everyone who was going to be included on the statue to double check the spelling of their names.

I want everybody name who was associated with the statue on the statue. In the spirit of Dr. King we want it, said SCLC President and CEO Charles Steele. If he believes, to any degree, in the upward mobility of what he is supposed to represent, he would want his name on there. But if you dont believe in freedom and justice, we dont want you.

That seems to be the question.

Benton, who was a prominent member of the House leadership, has seen a spiralling demotion to backbencher status, thanks to the controversial headlines he has been making lately.

Last week Benton forwarded an article titled The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause of the War Between the States, to several members of the House, including House Speaker David Ralston, (R-Blue Ridge.)

Last Friday Ralston stripped Benton of his leadershipposition as chairman of the House Committee on Human Relations and Aging.

Ralston also bounced Benton off a study committee on civics education in Georgias public schools. Ralston had appointed him to the committee earlier this month.

The appointment was controversial, as Benton had spent the past two years making provocative comments about the Civil War, race relations and the Ku Klux Klan.

A clay modeling of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue to be placed on the state Capitol lawn in August. Courtesy Georgia Building Authority. Georgia Building Authority

Those demotions likely affected Bentons decision, said Grady Vickery, a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans in Dawsonville. Vickery does not personally know Benton, but supports Bentons statement that the Civil War was not started over slavery. He also supports Bentons failed moves to protect Confederate iconography in Georgia.

If you start taking down monuments to the Confederates, then before you know it youre going to go after statues of Martin Luther King, Vickery said. How are we going to teach our young people if we dont keep these benchmarks to show them what happened?

In an interview with the AJC published in January 2016,Benton said the Klan was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order.

It made a lot of people straighten up, he said. Im not saying what they did was right. Its just the way things were.

Steele said that there is an SCLC chapter in Jefferson and he is ready to mobilize a march.

It is not about him. It is about who he represents, Steele said. Can his district allow this kind of mindset to represent them? We need to take a trip down to his district and rally, because right now, it is an insult and belittles the progress that we as Americans have made.

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SCLC and Confederate group clash over lawmaker’s MLK statue decision – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Unveiling of Hesburgh-MLK sculpture is Wednesday – South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND The unveiling of a new sculpture of the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh and the Rev. Martin Luther King will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Leighton Plaza at 130 S. Main St. in downtown South Bend.

The ceremony is free and open to the general public.

The sculpture, designed by Granger-based artist Tuck Langland, depicts Hesburgh, the late longtime president of the University of Notre Dame, and King, the slain civil rights leader, joining hands, just as they did at a civil rights rally in Chicago in 1964. The sculpture is based on a famous photo captured of a scene at that rally.

The sculpture, slightly larger than life size, was funded by private donations.

Local residents also are invited to gather at 10 a.m. that day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1522 Linden Ave., for a march to the unveiling ceremony.

Transpo will provide a free shuttle from downtown to the King Center so those participating in the march may park their vehicles downtown, where they will return for the unveiling. The shuttles will depart from Washington Street next to Gridiron Plaza at 9:30, 9:40 and 9:50 a.m. on the day of the event.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, will attend the unveiling.

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Unveiling of Hesburgh-MLK sculpture is Wednesday – South Bend Tribune

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PRESS ROOM: NNPA to Honor Martin Luther King III with 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award at Annual Conference – Black Press USA

CONTACT: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. Email: dr.bchavis@nnpa.org Phone: (202) 588-8764

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON/June 19, 2017/NNPA Newswire/The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) will honor Martin Luther King, III with the 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award during the groups annual conference this week (June 20-June24) at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor in Prince Georges County, Md.

As the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III serves as an ambassador of his parents legacy of nonviolent social change. In 1997, Mr. King was elected as the fourth president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) where he co-sponsored the 40th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington.

Following his service with SCLC, Mr. King founded Realizing the Dream, which focused on redressing poverty by strategizing with community organizers to ignite investment in the local neighborhoods and foster peaceful coexistence within the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, said that the group is especially pleased to present the 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award to Martin Luther King III.

For decades, more than anyone else, Martin Luther King III has continued to personify and represent the living legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for freedom, justice and equality, said Chavis.

King will accept the Lifetime Legacy Award on Friday evening (June 23).

On Tuesday, June 20, the NNPA will kick off the conference with the National Black Parents Town Hall Meeting on Educational Excellence featuring radio personality and community activist DJ EZ Street; Hilary Shelton, the director of the NAACPs Washington Bureau; Dr. Marietta English, the president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators; and Lynn Jennings of Education Trust.

The conference will also feature a panel discussion about the documentary Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten; a conversation with NNPA members who operate publications that are more than 100 years old; and a presentation by the Nissan Foundation on 25 years of community service.

The NNPA will also name the Publisher of the Year during the Merit Awards on Thursday evening.

Dr. Chavis said that support of the NNPAs partners, sponsors and advertisers is critically important and appreciated.

NNPA partners include: General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Reynolds America Incorporated, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The conference is sponsored by Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Comcast, AT&T, Facebook, Macys, Koch Industries, New York Life, Northrop Grumman, Coca Cola, AARP, Goldman Sacs, and Prince Georges County.

Denise Rolark Barnes, the chairwoman of the NNPA, said that this years conference is a celebration of the Black Press.

For 190 years, since the first Black newspaper was published on March 16, 1827, Black newspaper publishers have been actively engaged in ending slavery and Jim Crow, fighting against segregation and for civil rights, and galvanizing the electorate that voted for the nations first Black president, said Barnes. Our collective voices, with well over 200 Black-owned media companies across the U.S. and in the Caribbean, are strong, defiant and determined to be heard.

Barnes continued: Despite our struggles, we remain relevant and strong within our communities. We welcome those to this conference who support our work, value our impact and share our belief in an inclusive and diverse country.

For more information about the conference, please visit www.nnpa-events.com.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (NNPA) The NNPA is a national trade association of 211 Black and women-owned U.S. media companies with a weekly print and digital readership of over 20.1 million Black Americans. The Black Press of America is 190 years old. The NNPA is known as the Black Press of America and the Voice of Black America, because its member publishers are trusted, respected and embedded in their local communities where they provide significant influence and impact. Learn more about the NNPA.org.

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PRESS ROOM: NNPA to Honor Martin Luther King III with 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award at Annual Conference – Black Press USA

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Two injured in crash on MLK Jr. Blvd., south of Jolly Rd. – Lansing State Journal

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Two people were injured in a crash on MLK Jr. Blvd., south of Jolly Rd., on Monday, June 19, 2017.(Photo: Ken Palmer/Lansing State Journal)Buy Photo

LANSING – A section of South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is closed while police investigate a crash that sent two people to the hospital.

The crash involving asedan and a full-size pickup truckhappened about 5:25 p.m. on MLK, near Ferley Street.

The northboundand southbound lanes of MLK areclosed between Jolly Road and Northrup Street.

One man was taken to a local hospital in good condition, Lansing police Sgt. Jason Spoelma said. Another man also was hospitalized, but his condition was unknown,he said.

Both vehicles sustained heavy front-end damage, indicating they collided head-on.

More on lsj.com:

Fowlerville man arraigned in fatal hit-and-run crash

The road could be closed for some time while an accident reconstruction team completes its work, police said.

Contact Ken Palmer at (517) 377-1032 or kpalmer@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @KBPalm_lsj.

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Two injured in crash on MLK Jr. Blvd., south of Jolly Rd. – Lansing State Journal

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East Valley group struggles to raise funds to honor MLK – AZCentral.com

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John Goodie leads children and adults on the unity walk during the “Light Up The Night” event sponsored by the Mesa MLK event organizers in Mesa, Ariz. on June 17, 2017.(Photo: Patrick Breen)

Dozens of people gathered in downtown Mesa Saturday for a unity walk celebrating love and commemorating the end of slavery.

The event was put on by the East Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, which led the walkers around streets near the Mesa Convention Center while singing patriotic songs such as “God Bless America” and civil rights anthems like “We Shall Overcome.”

While the walk was joyful, it also had a more somber goal. The group is struggling to raise enough funds to put on the annualDr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade and associated events and said without donations, it will be cancelled.

Denise TrimbleSmith speaks during the “Light Up The Night” event sponsored by the Mesa MLK event organizers in Mesa, Ariz. on June 17, 2017.(Photo: Patrick Breen)

Committee Vice President Denise TrimbleSmith said many deep-pocketed donors have lessened their donations or have stopped financially supporting the committee altogether, putting January’s parade in “serious jeopardy.”

She said the march is especially important this year given the nation’s current political and social climate.

“We have some racial injustices that continue to happen and we’ve gotten better,” TrimbleSmith said. “But the climate in America right now, it’s hard to even believe that Dr. King struggled and fought for all of us to have rights and yet we still don’t take advantage of the love that he wanted us to live.”

TrimbleSmith said Saturday’s walk was an “urgency” and fundraising effort in light of the lack of funding, encouraging those gathered at the event to remain in solidarity with one another.

“The best thing we have on this side of heaven is coming together united during that weekend,” TrimbleSmith said. “It doesn’t just start and stop with me, it starts with all of us.”

She said the cost to put on the celebrations each year is in the “multi-thousands” of dollars and that the committee has to cover costs including permits for the parade, barricades to shut down the streets, portable restrooms and street sweepers.

John Goodie is a member of the committee and said it wouldbe “an embarrassment” to not have the parade and other activities honoring Kingin 2018.

“Our nation is torn, both parties are torn,” Goodie said. “So we need to really reflect and maintain Dr. King’s dream of unity, brotherhood and love, togetherness.”

Goodie said the committee is about $8,000 short of what it needs to run the celebrations in 2018, and said he hoped Saturday’s march jumpstarts fundraising efforts.

“We’re getting an early start to let folks know, ‘hey, we’re in jeopardy and we need some help,'” he said.

Goodie spoke at the brief program before the walk started, leading the attendees in singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” before leading the walk and continued singing.

Dorothy Townsend attended the walk with her husband and granddaughter, saying she hoped to show her granddaughter an example of love and unity.

“We’ve seen a lot of stuff that exhibits disunity and people are so angry even on Facebook,” Townsend said. “The slightest comment causes people to get very abrasive, so I love the idea of us putting that aside and remembering we all have differing opinions but we can all be unified in our love for each other and our love for this city.”

Townsend said she’s noticed more disunity since the 2016 presidential election, adding that she believes there “doesn’t seem to be a lot of tolerance” on either side of the political spectrum.

“The attacks seem more severe and I don’t think we want it to fragment our community,” Townsend said. “I don’t think we want to find ourselves segregated into little populations of ethnic groups or cultures or cultural activities and definitely not on the socioeconomic scale.”

Townsend said that’s why she supports events like Saturday evening’s gathering, sayingit brings the public together.

“It seems to be a rocky time but I hope people gather together in their communities, in their churches, cultural associations and come together when they get an opportunity for an event like this and little by little I think some of the animosity could be toned down,” Townsend said.

TrimbleSmith said the committee organizes a parade, breakfast gala and festival during the weekends leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and also sponsors scholarships — all of which are in jeopardy if the committee’s funding needs aren’t met.

Buteven if there’s not an outward display of celebration like the parade or breakfast gala next year, TrimbleSmith said those who want to carry on King’s message of peace and unity can display it on a daily basis.

“I wish we could have a parade every day but the fact of the matter is we have to be the parade,” TrimbleSmith said.”The community needs to be the parade on a daily basis and then when it comes time for that January 15th weekend its just a reflection of what were doing every day.”

Those who want to donate to the effort can do so on the committee’s website, www.mesamlk.org.

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East Valley group struggles to raise funds to honor MLK – AZCentral.com

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#TheRootTrip: Martin Luther King Jr. Slept Here – The Root

The A.G. Gaston Motel is an important landmark in the civil rights movement and was designated by President Barack Obama as the center of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. Located just a block away from the 16th Street Baptist Church, the site where four black girls lost their lives in 1963 when the KKK bombed their Sunday School class, the motel served as the center point for civil rights leaders. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed there, even as A.G. Gaston himself was a controversial figure.

An adherent of Booker T. Washingtons philosophy of both business and not directly confronting the white supremacist system, Gaston was a complicated figure who both thrived in business during segregation. He own numerous business properties, including an insurance company, a funeral home, a bank, and of course, the motel.

On the one hand, Gaston supported the civil rights movement behind the scenes by providing financial support to various integration movements but was widely seen as an accommodationist who discouraged student protests in lieu of negotiation with white Birmingham officials. This caused him to be labeled an Uncle Tom in some quarters because of his moderating influence when it came to the demand for first-class citizenship.

But the A.G. Gaston Motel still stands, and its currently under renovation, where it will become part of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which is adjacent to the hotel.

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Dolphins team up with Martin Luther King III to have entire roster registered to vote – Sporting News

The Dolphins are trying to do something no NFL team has ever before done. Miami is teaming up with Martin Luther King III in an attempt to register their entire team to vote by September.

Kingand Bill Wachtel of the Drum Major Institute have teamed up with the RISE Organization to register the entire Dolphins’ roster to vote by September 27 which is National Voter Registration day.

“The Dolphins are well on their way to being the first professional ball team in American history to have a roster of fully registered voters, and this is just the beginning,” Wachtel said Thursday in an interview with ESPN.

As of Friday afternoon about 90 percent of the team had registered to vote.

“The hope is that translates to encouraging more people across our nation to get engaged and to vote because a vote-less people, as dad said, is a powerless people, King told the Miami Herald. One of the most important steps that we can take is that short step to the ballot box.

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Dolphins team up with Martin Luther King III to have entire roster registered to vote – Sporting News

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Renovation Plan Gets Hartford Board Of Ed Approval – Hartford Courant

The $68 million revival of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School is back on track after the city board of education endorsed new plans Tuesday night that will be sent to the state for approval. After working with the state for weeks on the proposal, Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez expressed confidence that King, a hulking symbol of educational inequity on a hill in north Hartford, will finally be renovated after years of broken promises. “When our students come into a building and things are falling apart … they think that that’s all they’re worth,” board member Juan Hernandez said in the elementary school’s auditorium, where spectators sat in broken seats with ripped, faded cushions. The space, frigid on a warm evening, smelled of mildew. Board member Richard Wareing said King represented the “institutional neglect of our schools.” Despite school overhauls and stunning magnet schools in other neighborhoods, the district said the once-grand, Collegiate Gothic building just west of Keney Park has not received a major renovation since it opened in the 1920s, originally as a high school. City school leaders and parents who have seen rodents scurrying inside have decried the facility conditions as deplorable and unsafe for children. More than 300 students attend the pre-K-to-grade-8 school named after the civil rights hero, and will remain in the Ridgefield Street building for at least another year, according to the proposal. Vanessa de la Torre / Hartford Courant If all goes as planned, the new King could reopen by fall 2020. Just months ago, the proposed renovation had seemed all but buried. The state shelved the project last year amid a budget crunch, leaving unanswered questions about the school’s fate. Talks continued behind the scenes. Still, Torres-Rodriguez said she was as surprised as anyone when, in a recent conversation about the renovation of Weaver High School in north Hartford, the state suggested it could cover the vast majority of the King project costs up to 95 percent if Hartford agreed to include a Sheff magnet school, Breakthrough II, inside a revamped King campus. Vanessa de la Torre / Hartford Courant Since then, city school officials have been dashing to submit a revised proposal to the state school construction grants office so it could be included as a priority bonding project in the state budget package, whenever it is passed. The legislature has been deadlocked on the budget that carries high stakes for Hartford as the city tries to avoid bankruptcy. The educational details that the school board approved Tuesday include the big picture: a 800-student campus that would feature a reimagined King Middle School but also include Breakthrough II, an elementary magnet created under the Sheff v. O’Neill desegregation pact. The schools, with 400 students each, would have separate entrances but share common areas such as the cafeteria and media center. Unlike many Greater Hartford magnet schools, Breakthrough II, which would be renamed Breakthrough North, has gone without a gleaming school facility. Located in a former neighborhood school in north Hartford, the magnet has struggled over the years to attract enough white and Asian students from the suburbs to be counted as integrated. The King project would take about three years to finish, including a year of planning. Costs would likely exceed the original $68 million price tag, a state construction official told city residents last month. More broadly, a King middle school would be a key piece of the consolidation puzzle as the city school system facing long-term fiscal uncertainty and dwindling enrollment plans for a future with fewer Hartford schools, Torres-Rodriguez said. The district’s elementary programs currently serve pre-K to eighth grade, a strain on diminishing resources. If King is reconfigured to accept middle-schoolers from seven neighborhood schools in north Hartford and the Asylum Hill area, that could make it is easier to merge certain elementary schools. One of Torres-Rodriguez’s chief concerns is keeping families invested in the Hartford schools. With King, she sees a middle-school pathway, built on educational best practices, that could then take students to the modernized Weaver for high school. The King renovation would maintain the building’s historic architecture. But much of the inside would be demolished, except for the school auditorium. A hope is that the project could spur neighborhood revitalization, too. “This is not only about the school and education,” Jose Colon-Rivas, the district’s chief operating officer, said at a recent meeting. “It goes above and beyond.”

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Statue of Fr. Hesburgh & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unveiled in South Bend – WNDU-TV

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – South Bend leaders unveiled a statue of Father Theodore Hesburgh and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday. The two were photographed in 1964 holding hands in song at a rally at Soldier Field in Chicago. The project is titled “We Shall Overcome.” It was unveiled at Leighton Plaza in downtown South Bend. Watch video of the entire ceremony on Facebook. We had a crew at the march and unveiling, and we’ll have a full report on NewsCenter 16 Wednesday evening. From the City of South Bend: Mayor Pete Buttigieg will join Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C, President of the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Virginia Calvin of the African American Community Fund, the Honorable Roland W. Chamblee Jr., who will serve as emcee, monument donors, and guests in unveiling the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Fr. Theodore Hesburgh monument on June 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Leighton Plaza. The monument depicts the famous photograph of Father Hesburgh and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holding hands while singing “We Shall Overcome” at a civil rights rally in Chicago in 1964. The monument, a life-size model of the two icons, will be interactive and allow the public to join the open hands of the two men. It will serve as a reminder of the history of civil rights gains and foster the pride South Bend has in its diversity and dedication to social justice. Placed at the entrance of the plaza, the monument, in conjunction with other improvements, will help transform the space into a lively and engaging community gathering place that promotes unity and dialog. Residents are also invited to gather at 10:00 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center (1522 Linden Ave) for a march to the unveiling ceremony at Leighton Plaza. Transpo will provide a free shuttle from downtown to the King Center so those participating in the march can park their vehicles downtown, where they will ultimately return for the unveiling. The Transpo shuttles will depart from Washington Street next to the former Hall of Fame Gridiron at the following times: 9:30 a.m., 9:40 a.m., and 9:50 a.m. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Father Theodore Hesburgh were moral leaders of their time. This monument will serve to commemorate their work and inspire others to emulate their courage. Residents of South Bend can join hands with the two men and remember the sacrifices they made in the name of justice and equality, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said. The monument was designed by internationally renowned local sculptor Tuck Langland and is funded through private donations with many organizations, institutions, and individuals supporting, including: the African American Community Fund, Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, University of Notre Dame, Arthur J. Decio, Dorene & Jerry Hammes (with appreciation to Melanie Chapleau, Personal Assistant), Jerry H. Mowbray, Great Lakes Capital, Visit South Bend Mishawaka, and the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority.

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

SCLC and Confederate group clash over lawmaker’s MLK statue decision – Atlanta Journal Constitution

The president of the organization founded in 1957 by Martin Luther King Jr., said he wants the name of state Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson) included on a plaque that will accompany a statue of King that will soon be unveiled at the state capitol. That is if Benton believes in justice. But a member of organization charged with keeping the memory of the Confederacy alive says Benton has every right to remove his name from a statue honoring King. He said the lawmaker probably felt betrayed by his colleagues. Earlier this month,Benton asked that his name be omitted completely from the statue after a request was made to everyone who was going to be included on the statue to double check the spelling of their names. I want everybody name who was associated with the statue on the statue. In the spirit of Dr. King we want it, said SCLC President and CEO Charles Steele. If he believes, to any degree, in the upward mobility of what he is supposed to represent, he would want his name on there. But if you dont believe in freedom and justice, we dont want you. That seems to be the question. Benton, who was a prominent member of the House leadership, has seen a spiralling demotion to backbencher status, thanks to the controversial headlines he has been making lately. Last week Benton forwarded an article titled The Absurdity of Slavery as the Cause of the War Between the States, to several members of the House, including House Speaker David Ralston, (R-Blue Ridge.) Last Friday Ralston stripped Benton of his leadershipposition as chairman of the House Committee on Human Relations and Aging. Ralston also bounced Benton off a study committee on civics education in Georgias public schools. Ralston had appointed him to the committee earlier this month. The appointment was controversial, as Benton had spent the past two years making provocative comments about the Civil War, race relations and the Ku Klux Klan. A clay modeling of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue to be placed on the state Capitol lawn in August. Courtesy Georgia Building Authority. Georgia Building Authority Those demotions likely affected Bentons decision, said Grady Vickery, a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans in Dawsonville. Vickery does not personally know Benton, but supports Bentons statement that the Civil War was not started over slavery. He also supports Bentons failed moves to protect Confederate iconography in Georgia. If you start taking down monuments to the Confederates, then before you know it youre going to go after statues of Martin Luther King, Vickery said. How are we going to teach our young people if we dont keep these benchmarks to show them what happened? In an interview with the AJC published in January 2016,Benton said the Klan was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order. It made a lot of people straighten up, he said. Im not saying what they did was right. Its just the way things were. Steele said that there is an SCLC chapter in Jefferson and he is ready to mobilize a march. It is not about him. It is about who he represents, Steele said. Can his district allow this kind of mindset to represent them? We need to take a trip down to his district and rally, because right now, it is an insult and belittles the progress that we as Americans have made.

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Unveiling of Hesburgh-MLK sculpture is Wednesday – South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND The unveiling of a new sculpture of the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh and the Rev. Martin Luther King will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Leighton Plaza at 130 S. Main St. in downtown South Bend. The ceremony is free and open to the general public. The sculpture, designed by Granger-based artist Tuck Langland, depicts Hesburgh, the late longtime president of the University of Notre Dame, and King, the slain civil rights leader, joining hands, just as they did at a civil rights rally in Chicago in 1964. The sculpture is based on a famous photo captured of a scene at that rally. The sculpture, slightly larger than life size, was funded by private donations. Local residents also are invited to gather at 10 a.m. that day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1522 Linden Ave., for a march to the unveiling ceremony. Transpo will provide a free shuttle from downtown to the King Center so those participating in the march may park their vehicles downtown, where they will return for the unveiling. The shuttles will depart from Washington Street next to Gridiron Plaza at 9:30, 9:40 and 9:50 a.m. on the day of the event. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, will attend the unveiling.

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

PRESS ROOM: NNPA to Honor Martin Luther King III with 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award at Annual Conference – Black Press USA

CONTACT: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. Email: dr.bchavis@nnpa.org Phone: (202) 588-8764 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON/June 19, 2017/NNPA Newswire/The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) will honor Martin Luther King, III with the 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award during the groups annual conference this week (June 20-June24) at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor in Prince Georges County, Md. As the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III serves as an ambassador of his parents legacy of nonviolent social change. In 1997, Mr. King was elected as the fourth president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) where he co-sponsored the 40th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington. Following his service with SCLC, Mr. King founded Realizing the Dream, which focused on redressing poverty by strategizing with community organizers to ignite investment in the local neighborhoods and foster peaceful coexistence within the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, said that the group is especially pleased to present the 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award to Martin Luther King III. For decades, more than anyone else, Martin Luther King III has continued to personify and represent the living legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for freedom, justice and equality, said Chavis. King will accept the Lifetime Legacy Award on Friday evening (June 23). On Tuesday, June 20, the NNPA will kick off the conference with the National Black Parents Town Hall Meeting on Educational Excellence featuring radio personality and community activist DJ EZ Street; Hilary Shelton, the director of the NAACPs Washington Bureau; Dr. Marietta English, the president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators; and Lynn Jennings of Education Trust. The conference will also feature a panel discussion about the documentary Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten; a conversation with NNPA members who operate publications that are more than 100 years old; and a presentation by the Nissan Foundation on 25 years of community service. The NNPA will also name the Publisher of the Year during the Merit Awards on Thursday evening. Dr. Chavis said that support of the NNPAs partners, sponsors and advertisers is critically important and appreciated. NNPA partners include: General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Reynolds America Incorporated, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The conference is sponsored by Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Comcast, AT&T, Facebook, Macys, Koch Industries, New York Life, Northrop Grumman, Coca Cola, AARP, Goldman Sacs, and Prince Georges County. Denise Rolark Barnes, the chairwoman of the NNPA, said that this years conference is a celebration of the Black Press. For 190 years, since the first Black newspaper was published on March 16, 1827, Black newspaper publishers have been actively engaged in ending slavery and Jim Crow, fighting against segregation and for civil rights, and galvanizing the electorate that voted for the nations first Black president, said Barnes. Our collective voices, with well over 200 Black-owned media companies across the U.S. and in the Caribbean, are strong, defiant and determined to be heard. Barnes continued: Despite our struggles, we remain relevant and strong within our communities. We welcome those to this conference who support our work, value our impact and share our belief in an inclusive and diverse country. For more information about the conference, please visit www.nnpa-events.com. ABOUT THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (NNPA) The NNPA is a national trade association of 211 Black and women-owned U.S. media companies with a weekly print and digital readership of over 20.1 million Black Americans. The Black Press of America is 190 years old. The NNPA is known as the Black Press of America and the Voice of Black America, because its member publishers are trusted, respected and embedded in their local communities where they provide significant influence and impact. Learn more about the NNPA.org.

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June 20, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Two injured in crash on MLK Jr. Blvd., south of Jolly Rd. – Lansing State Journal

Subscribe today for full access on your desktop, tablet, and mobile device. 224 Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about A section of South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is closed while police investigate a crash that sent two people to the hospital. Try Another Audio CAPTCHA Image CAPTCHA Help CancelSend A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Two people were injured in a crash on MLK Jr. Blvd., south of Jolly Rd., on Monday, June 19, 2017.(Photo: Ken Palmer/Lansing State Journal)Buy Photo LANSING – A section of South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is closed while police investigate a crash that sent two people to the hospital. The crash involving asedan and a full-size pickup truckhappened about 5:25 p.m. on MLK, near Ferley Street. The northboundand southbound lanes of MLK areclosed between Jolly Road and Northrup Street. One man was taken to a local hospital in good condition, Lansing police Sgt. Jason Spoelma said. Another man also was hospitalized, but his condition was unknown,he said. Both vehicles sustained heavy front-end damage, indicating they collided head-on. More on lsj.com: Fowlerville man arraigned in fatal hit-and-run crash The road could be closed for some time while an accident reconstruction team completes its work, police said. Contact Ken Palmer at (517) 377-1032 or kpalmer@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @KBPalm_lsj. Read or Share this story: http://on.lsj.com/2tm92LG 0:32 1:05 0:58 2:02 1:39 0:22 0:24 1:01 2:08 1:38

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June 20, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

East Valley group struggles to raise funds to honor MLK – AZCentral.com

Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions John Goodie leads children and adults on the unity walk during the “Light Up The Night” event sponsored by the Mesa MLK event organizers in Mesa, Ariz. on June 17, 2017.(Photo: Patrick Breen) Dozens of people gathered in downtown Mesa Saturday for a unity walk celebrating love and commemorating the end of slavery. The event was put on by the East Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, which led the walkers around streets near the Mesa Convention Center while singing patriotic songs such as “God Bless America” and civil rights anthems like “We Shall Overcome.” While the walk was joyful, it also had a more somber goal. The group is struggling to raise enough funds to put on the annualDr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade and associated events and said without donations, it will be cancelled. Denise TrimbleSmith speaks during the “Light Up The Night” event sponsored by the Mesa MLK event organizers in Mesa, Ariz. on June 17, 2017.(Photo: Patrick Breen) Committee Vice President Denise TrimbleSmith said many deep-pocketed donors have lessened their donations or have stopped financially supporting the committee altogether, putting January’s parade in “serious jeopardy.” She said the march is especially important this year given the nation’s current political and social climate. “We have some racial injustices that continue to happen and we’ve gotten better,” TrimbleSmith said. “But the climate in America right now, it’s hard to even believe that Dr. King struggled and fought for all of us to have rights and yet we still don’t take advantage of the love that he wanted us to live.” TrimbleSmith said Saturday’s walk was an “urgency” and fundraising effort in light of the lack of funding, encouraging those gathered at the event to remain in solidarity with one another. “The best thing we have on this side of heaven is coming together united during that weekend,” TrimbleSmith said. “It doesn’t just start and stop with me, it starts with all of us.” She said the cost to put on the celebrations each year is in the “multi-thousands” of dollars and that the committee has to cover costs including permits for the parade, barricades to shut down the streets, portable restrooms and street sweepers. John Goodie is a member of the committee and said it wouldbe “an embarrassment” to not have the parade and other activities honoring Kingin 2018. “Our nation is torn, both parties are torn,” Goodie said. “So we need to really reflect and maintain Dr. King’s dream of unity, brotherhood and love, togetherness.” Goodie said the committee is about $8,000 short of what it needs to run the celebrations in 2018, and said he hoped Saturday’s march jumpstarts fundraising efforts. “We’re getting an early start to let folks know, ‘hey, we’re in jeopardy and we need some help,'” he said. Goodie spoke at the brief program before the walk started, leading the attendees in singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” before leading the walk and continued singing. Dorothy Townsend attended the walk with her husband and granddaughter, saying she hoped to show her granddaughter an example of love and unity. “We’ve seen a lot of stuff that exhibits disunity and people are so angry even on Facebook,” Townsend said. “The slightest comment causes people to get very abrasive, so I love the idea of us putting that aside and remembering we all have differing opinions but we can all be unified in our love for each other and our love for this city.” Townsend said she’s noticed more disunity since the 2016 presidential election, adding that she believes there “doesn’t seem to be a lot of tolerance” on either side of the political spectrum. “The attacks seem more severe and I don’t think we want it to fragment our community,” Townsend said. “I don’t think we want to find ourselves segregated into little populations of ethnic groups or cultures or cultural activities and definitely not on the socioeconomic scale.” Townsend said that’s why she supports events like Saturday evening’s gathering, sayingit brings the public together. “It seems to be a rocky time but I hope people gather together in their communities, in their churches, cultural associations and come together when they get an opportunity for an event like this and little by little I think some of the animosity could be toned down,” Townsend said. TrimbleSmith said the committee organizes a parade, breakfast gala and festival during the weekends leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and also sponsors scholarships — all of which are in jeopardy if the committee’s funding needs aren’t met. Buteven if there’s not an outward display of celebration like the parade or breakfast gala next year, TrimbleSmith said those who want to carry on King’s message of peace and unity can display it on a daily basis. “I wish we could have a parade every day but the fact of the matter is we have to be the parade,” TrimbleSmith said.”The community needs to be the parade on a daily basis and then when it comes time for that January 15th weekend its just a reflection of what were doing every day.” Those who want to donate to the effort can do so on the committee’s website, www.mesamlk.org. Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2ti4LIZ

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June 19, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

#TheRootTrip: Martin Luther King Jr. Slept Here – The Root

The A.G. Gaston Motel is an important landmark in the civil rights movement and was designated by President Barack Obama as the center of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. Located just a block away from the 16th Street Baptist Church, the site where four black girls lost their lives in 1963 when the KKK bombed their Sunday School class, the motel served as the center point for civil rights leaders. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed there, even as A.G. Gaston himself was a controversial figure. An adherent of Booker T. Washingtons philosophy of both business and not directly confronting the white supremacist system, Gaston was a complicated figure who both thrived in business during segregation. He own numerous business properties, including an insurance company, a funeral home, a bank, and of course, the motel. On the one hand, Gaston supported the civil rights movement behind the scenes by providing financial support to various integration movements but was widely seen as an accommodationist who discouraged student protests in lieu of negotiation with white Birmingham officials. This caused him to be labeled an Uncle Tom in some quarters because of his moderating influence when it came to the demand for first-class citizenship. But the A.G. Gaston Motel still stands, and its currently under renovation, where it will become part of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which is adjacent to the hotel.

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June 17, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed

Dolphins team up with Martin Luther King III to have entire roster registered to vote – Sporting News

The Dolphins are trying to do something no NFL team has ever before done. Miami is teaming up with Martin Luther King III in an attempt to register their entire team to vote by September. Kingand Bill Wachtel of the Drum Major Institute have teamed up with the RISE Organization to register the entire Dolphins’ roster to vote by September 27 which is National Voter Registration day. “The Dolphins are well on their way to being the first professional ball team in American history to have a roster of fully registered voters, and this is just the beginning,” Wachtel said Thursday in an interview with ESPN. As of Friday afternoon about 90 percent of the team had registered to vote. “The hope is that translates to encouraging more people across our nation to get engaged and to vote because a vote-less people, as dad said, is a powerless people, King told the Miami Herald. One of the most important steps that we can take is that short step to the ballot box.

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Martin Luther King  Comments Closed


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