On Monday, January 21, the South Shore YMCA joined the City of Quincy and fellow community members in celebration of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. Despite the below-freezing temperatures, the event, which was held at the Quincy High School, attracted a sizable crowd made up of all ages and backgrounds.
Inspired by his teachings of unity and character, attendees joined together to honor, to remember, and to commemorate Dr. King and the powerful messages he taught the world about hope, equality, and love.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to be a very important icon in the US, largely because the progress we’ve made regarding human relations is attributed to his advocacy,” shared Tackey Chan, State Representative. “These events serve to remind us that voices can be heard in a civil and non-violent manner to give us and our government a chance to remember that people should not be forgotten. Dr. King reminded everybody that nobody should be forgotten, and that change comes from one voice starting many others.”
Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch kicked off the program, which was marked by keynote speaker, Reverend Sheldon W. Bennett, Ph.D., who spoke of Quincy’s history, and of its power to shift perceptions and stand together to create a more fully inclusive community.
“Discrimination and hostility are not what our city stands for – each generation must gather to renew the promises of Dr. King,” shared Rev. Bennett. “Today we gather together to lift up his dream. We could despair but no, we will celebrate, and we will stand on the side of love.”
After Bennett’s address, the SSYMCA Germantown Neighborhood Center Band sang songs that nodded to messages preached by Dr. King, including Rise Up by Andra Day and We are the World by Michael Jackson/Lionel Richie.
“What better example of the YMCA’s core values of caring, honesty, responsibility and respect than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?” said Chrissy Shah, Executive Director, South Shore YMCA, Quincy Branch. “The South Shore YMCA is proud to join our neighbors and friends in celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, and will continue to act on his ideals each and every day by creating meaningful change in our community.”