NEWBURYPORT — Tickets are now on sale for the YWCA Greater Newburyport’s 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.
This year’s event will be held on Jan. 21 at Newburyport City Hall. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. The program will begin at 8:30.
Tickets are $25 ($20 for senior citizens). Thanks to the generous donations of sponsors and community members, high school students attend the breakfast for free. Advance tickets can be purchased at the YWCA 13 Market St. until Friday, January 18, at noon. Tickets will be available at the door.
“Racism is a thing of the past” and “events like this perpetuate issues that no longer exist.” “There is no racism here.” These, and similar comments, were expressed by high school students at last year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. At some level, maybe these comments can be excused. After all, the civil rights movement is taught in history classes. The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Johnson in 1964, almost 50 years ago. In contrast, in 2008, the United States elected its first African American president. After the election, there was even talk of a “post-racial America.”
But is it really true? That still unfinished conversation about the current reality of racism has helped the students on the planning committee shape the planning for this year’s event.
Guest presenter at this year’s breakfast will be Jamele Adams, associate dean of student life at Brandeis University. Adams oversees the departments of Student Activities and Community Service, as well as the Intercultural Center and the Chaplaincy. He works with campus groups to promote and enhance opportunities to celebrate diversity at Brandeis. In addition, he oversees the Community Prejudice Response Task Force.
Known as Harlym 125, Adams was a frequent and highly regarded figure in competitions in New York and beyond. Since coming to Brandeis, he has become a part of the Boston area poetry scene and joined a team of poets who have won numerous competitions regionally and nationally.
For more information, go to www.ywcanewburyport.org or call 978-465-9922.