Friday, January 21, 2011

MLK tribute event features local writer

Honoring MLK: From left, Biviano, Jones, McLarin, Slavin, Dee Dee Chen, AMMP vice-chair and compensation and benefits consultant for Human Resources, and Davis

More than 40 years after his death, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of justice, equality and freedom continue to inspire millions across the globe. At the MGH, employees gathered Jan. 14 in the East Garden Room for an annual tribute to the life of King. The event was hosted by the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners (AMMP). Kirk E. Jones, chair of AMMP and MGH Information Security officer, welcomed guests to the morning event, and Rev. Martin Okwir, of the MGH Chaplaincy, led guests in an opening prayer. Jo Biviano, MGH Cancer Center patient services coordinator, then sang "A Change is Gonna Come."

Next, Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, offered remarks and introduced the keynote speaker, Kim McLarin. A resident of Milton, McLarin is the author of three acclaimed novels and a former journalist. She also is an assistant professor at Emerson College and a regular commentator on “Basic Black,” Boston’s longest-running weekly news program for the African-American community.

McLarin’s discussion focused on economic inequality, a problem she described as a “twin issue” of racism. She shared a range of statistics about the unequal distribution of wealth in America, particularly as it relates to the African-American community. She encouraged the audience to honor King through a sense of “divine dissatisfaction” with current economic and social injustices and to work in his tradition to achieve tangible reform. 

Following the talk, Biviano led the audience in singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and then performed a solo rendition of "I  Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." Jeff Davis, senior vice president for Human Resources, closed the event by thanking all who had helped make it a success, including the members of AMMP, and extended a special thank you to McLarin for her inspiring remarks.

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