Reverend Martin Luther King Day Attleboro, Massachusetts January 21, 2019

The following remarks were offered by Acting President of the Attleboro Municipal Council Heather Porreca on January 21, 2019:

 

Good Morning,

On behalf of the Municipal Council, Welcome to City Hall as we celebrate the life and memory of Dr. King.

My name is Heather Porreca, Acting President of the Municipal Council.

Thank you to the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro for their tireless efforts year after year bringing us all together.

On the third Monday in January we gather here to celebrate the life of a Baptist Minister turned activist who became the the most visible spokesperson and leader in the modern day civil rights movement. We are reminded of his peaceful demonstrations and acts of CIVIL disobedience. We look and listen fondly to his infamous “I have a dream” speech and a call to action for racial equality.  Of course, this has been very well documented and is what most people tend to know most about Dr. King.

Personally, What I enjoy about Dr. Kings teachings are at the early roots of his activism.

Economic and Social justice are the Twin Pillars for Dr. King’s Beloved Community. A Beloved Community is a Healthy Community: Socially, Economically and Physically. His teachings showed us a community that maximizes empathy, compassion and love will also lead to the residents of that community having well paying jobs, decent levels of healthcare, education and housing.

Amidst the rhetoric at the state and federal levels, we here, in Attleboro work everyday to achieve the fundamentals of a Beloved Community. I witness empathy, compassion and love manifest itself here. Whether it’s through legislation passed by Municipal Council, the rebirth of the council on human rights, interactions with residents, or simply observations of everyday life in our community. I have seen  time and again the efforts our community makes to help a neighbor or friend who is struggling, looking for a job, or a service, or when tragedy strikes, the residents pull together, share ideas, make donations and simply work together for the betterment of humankind, Recently, my family suffered a loss. The outpouring of support from so many in this community was incredibly comforting to me and my family. It is this empathy, compassion and love from right here in Attleboro that makes a difference everyday and works towards eradicating the behaviors that promote and allow all forms of racism and discrimination.

So, Today as we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. Let us continue and practice his legacy and teachings with each other right here. Be a pillar in our beloved community of Attleboro.  It starts with a simple smile or a pleasant greeting. In Dr. King’s Words, “ It is this type of spirit that can transform opponents into friends. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of mankind.”