Martin Luther King Jr. Observance at the Gloucester Meetinghouse to Feature Discussion of Cape Ann Slave History, Black Leaders of the Abolitionist Movement, and Stories of Contemporary Refugee Families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gloucester will reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cape Ann’s own involvement with slavery, the black leaders of the Abolitionist Movement, and examples of modern day oppression in an afternoon program on Monday, Jan. 15, in the historic 1806 Gloucester Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church.
The program will include first-hand storytelling by refugees living on Cape Ann about the promise that America holds for them, brought together by the Gloucester Writers Center, and a presentation by historian Mary Ellen Lepionka about the fate of the Algonquian natives living in the 1600s near what now is Gloucester.
Also, Historian Lise Breen, whose research has uncovered the role Gloucester mariners played in 19th century slave trade, will speak about black leaders of Abolitionist activity in New England. Reverend Janet Parsons, the church minister, will talk about taking accountability for actions of Cape Ann predecessors who owned slaves, or engaged in the slave trade, and where we go from here.
Hosted by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation, this event is occurring as the nation prepares to observe, on April 4, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. The program begins at 2 pm and is scheduled to conclude at 5:30. It will feature a talk on Gloucester’s diversity by Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and end with the recording of Dr. King’s final sermon on interconnectedness. The audience will depart with the ceremonial tolling of the Meetinghouse’s Paul Revere bell for freedom.
The program is free with voluntary donations invited. Refreshments will be available.
This is the second city-wide observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday sponsored by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation, a nonprofit entity founded to help preserve the 1806 Unitarian Universalist church meeting house. The church is recognized in the National Register of Historic Places as home of the first Universalist congregation in America, and for its role in establishing freedom of religion in Massachusetts and influencing adoption of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation president Charles Nazarian described next Monday’s event as “a rare opportunity” for Cape Ann residents to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, learn about both historical and present-day people of color with diverse identities, and rededicate themselves to the American creed that all persons are created equal.
The Meetinghouse is at the corner of Middle and Church Streets in downtown Gloucester and has easy access for persons with disabilities at the side entrance at 10 Church Street. Parking is available on Meetinghouse Green, reached from Middle Street, and in the parking lot of St. John’s Episcopal Church, reached from Washington Street.
EVENT DESCRIPTION: SECOND ANNUAL GLOUCESTER MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY CELEBRATION
WHAT: AN AFTERNOON OF PRESENTATIONS ON THE MLK HOLIDAY hosted by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation
WHEN: MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018, 2:00-5:30pm
WHERE: THE HISTORIC 1806 GLOUCESTER MEETINGHOUSE (home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church), corner of Church & Middle Street; accessible side entrance at 10 Church Street. Parking is available on Meetinghouse Green and next door at St. John’s Church.
Mary Ellen Lepionka, Cape Ann Algonquians’ fate after European colonization
Lise Breen, history of black leaders of the Abolitionist Movement
GWC Fish Tales, first-hand stories from refugees about the promise of America
Reverend Janet Parsons, accountability and where do we go from here?
Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken, commentary on cultural diversity
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his final Christmas Sermon on interconnectedness
Closing, tolling of the Meetinghouse Paul Revere bell for freedom
WHAT’S SPECIAL? A rare opportunity to gather in community to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, learn about historical and present-day persons of color with diverse identities, initiatives to study the history of slavery on Cape Ann as well as the black leaders of the Abolitionist Movement and rededicate ourselves to the American creed that all persons are created equal. This is the 50th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Dr. King.
COST: FREE with voluntary donations, all welcome. Refreshments will be available.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.gloucestermeetinghouse.org
ABOUT THE GLOUCESTER MEETINGHOUSE FOUNDATION: The mission of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is to preserve the 1806 landmark building, Gloucester’s last-surviving historic Meetinghouse, as a civic hub, entertainment venue and community center.
RELATED MORNING EVENT: The Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport holds its annual Peace March commemorating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. in which members and friends gather at 9:30 am for sign making, followed by a march through downtown Rockport at 10:00 am, and gather after the march for hot cider and goodies, followed by a short worship service. For more information see: http://rockportuu.org/
GLOUCESTER EVENT CONTACT
Charles Nazarian, president
Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation
10 Church Street
Gloucester, MA 01930