Bishop Knisely and the Center for Reconciliation heard Rev. Dr. Sammy Vaughan speak at the Minister’s Alliance Breakfast celebrating Martin Luther King Day. For 35 years the Alliance has raised money to support scholarships for black youth.
The Center for Reconciliation participated last week in the 2017 Rhode Island Docent Symposium, sponsored by the Rhode Island Historical Society and funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
The symposium was held on Monday, May 8 in New Bedford, Massachusetts at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. This year’s theme was “Creating Welcoming Spaces.”
Elon Cook, our program director and curator, gave a 15-minute video presentation as part of the session on “Race in Museums.” Elon spoke about how to develop respectful interpretations of enslaved, and gradually emancipated, people by collaborating with universities and other historic sites. She emphasized the importance of telling the truth about our shared history. Keith Stokes from the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society then spoke about the importance of representing enslaved people from the point of view of the people themselves (their family, food, culture, religion, skills, etc.) rather than simply as “slaves.” Pam McDonald, CFR volunteer program coordinator, Morgan Grefe, executive director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and Keith Stokes then answered questions posed by the 40 docents present at the program.
The personal reflections on Dr. King’s six principles of non-violence were powerful and moving. Highlights of the evening also included musical performances by youth from the RI Philharmonic School of Music, the Grace Church choir, a Native American drummers and singers group, jazz pianist, a cello player and an original composition for piano and flute. The collaboration of several organizations and many people was wonderful to behold!
The CFR and its partners are eagerly anticipating a great evening celebrating the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We’re especially excited that Alexandra Medeiros, a composer and RI Philharmonic Music School Alumna has composed a piece for piano and flute. “Redemption” will be having it’s premiere at our celebration! Join us on January 12th at 7 pm at Calvary Baptist Church in Providence.