Ayanna Pressley to Speak at Brookline MLK Celebration

The following information came from Jesse Mermell's office.


The Town of Brookline will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with “Keeping the Promise,” a special event on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline. The celebration will be free and open to the public. Doors will open at 2:15 p.m.

Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor At-Large, will deliver the keynote address. The event will also feature performances by the Workmen’s Circle Chorus, Note-A-Fy, The Winiker Band, and the Baker School Jazz Band, as well as a special video about Sojourn to the Past. Brookline High School faculty member Malcolm Cawthorne will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

“The Town is proud to be sponsoring this special event in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,” said Selectman Jesse Mermell, the chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee. “As a community, we are committed to advancing Dr. King’s goals and values year-round, but it is appropriate to take time on this special day to reflect on his promise and examine where we have been, where we are, and where we hope to go.”

Ayanna Pressley’s career has been marked by history-making campaigns and a relentless determination to advance a political agenda focused on breaking cycles of poverty and violence. Pressley was first elected to the Boston City Council on November 3, 2009 and was the first woman of color ever elected to the Boston City Council. Pressley made history again in 2011 when she topped the ticket in her first re-election bid. Pressley built a grassroots campaign and dominated Boston’s communities of color and progressive neighborhoods. But she also displayed something rare for Boston politics- she competed and won in every neighborhood in the city, regardless of the neighborhood’s racial makeup.

During her time in office, Pressley created and is chairing a new standing committee, the Committee on Women & Healthy Communities. The committee is devoted to the causes that she has always been most devoted to: stabilizing families and communities, reducing and preventing violence and trauma, combating poverty and addressing issues which disproportionately impact women and girls.

Pressley has earned local and national attention for her efforts to provide pathways to graduation for pregnant and parenting teens, ensure Boston high school students received comprehensive sexual health education and strengthen support services for families of homicide victims.

Sojourn to the Past is a unique, transformative, and empowering academic immersion program that takes 11th and 12th grade students from diverse academic, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds out of their schools on a ten-day moving classroom journey along the path of the Civil Rights Movement through five states in the American South. www.sojournproject.com.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee was established by a vote of the Board of Selectmen in 2009 to reaffirm the Town of Brookline’s commitment to inclusiveness, tolerance, and diversity. The Committee is charged with planning the Town’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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