Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s impassioned call for continued struggle echoes through the decades, encouraging
dedicated people of goodwill to press on, helping bend that arc. In the spirit of shared labor toward common causes, the Voices for Peace and Justice 2013 event series presents a rich collaboration of organizations.
In this year's VOICES event series, CKCPJ’s 2013 Voices for Peace and Justice acknowledges and celebrates the voices of individuals who have spoken and acted for justice for all citizens. We invite you to join us in an examination of what segregation meant yesterday and how we still need to be working out the meaning of full equality for all. A number of our activities focus on Lexington, but lessons from the struggle for integration and full equality apply far beyond any single city. For all the events, see the current CKCPJ Calendar. Some highlights from the planned events are:
During the summer a major focus was the interplay between immigration and justice. Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice Board member Steve Pavey, along with poet and immigration advocate Marco Saavedra organized an event to highlight their book Shadows then Light. Following the example of the acclaimed 1964 photo-journal Nothing Personal by photographer Richard Avedon and essayist James Baldwin. Pavey and Saavedra provide through photographs, ethnography and poetry an updated critique of a loveless American society that reduces human beings to corpses while they live. The undocumented youth activists, the subjects of the show, not only claim their rightful human dignity, they also shine the light of their lives back into the shadows, where the majority of youth and their families remain, facing the dehumanizing threat of detention and deportation. In addition, two immigration workshops entitled "Democracy for All – Immigration Reform" Workshop and "The DREAM9 & STENCILs for Immigrant Justice & Dignity" were organized and conducted by Steve Pavey in early August.
Another August event was initiated by CKCPJ Board member Rebecca DiLoreto and held at Imani Baptist Church. A community wide discussion focused on race-based stops and coerced confessions after watching "The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding", a film by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns (WETA, Washington DC and The Central Park Five Project, 2013).
Later in August CKCPJ and our Lexington NAACP chapter collaborated to present an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that is most remembered for the Martin Luther King "I Have a Dream" speech. On August 28, the event, which included songs, prayers, and speeches, and co-hosted by the NAACP’s Rev. Jim Thurman and CKCPJ’s Randolph Hollingsworth drew over 300 central Kentuckians to downtown Lexington who gathered there to honor those who risked their lives for freedom during the 1960s and to recommit ourselves to their yet unfinished work. These two organizations share an array of goals and all of us hope for additional successful collaborations in the future.
On October 17th CKCPJ co-sponsored the annual Stand Down and Homeless Resource Fair. Initiated six years ago by CKCPJ, this annual event is now coordinated by members of the Central Kentucky Housing and Homeless Initiative and our local VA Administration. More than 240 individuals and families are connected with local services providers each year during this event.
The first Festival of the Streets is scheduled on Oct. 19 at the Courthouse Square (11am-4 pm) to highlight the talents of our homeless brothers and sisters. There will be art displays, crafts made by the Street Voice Council folks, music, food, contests and games loved by those on the streets: dominoes, checkers, and corn hole. Folks in the Culinary Program at CTE will provide the food. Residents of the Community Inn will make craft items to sell along with finding the supplies for other artists to produce their works of art. Sponsored in part by CKCPJ, the Street Voice Council members define this as a celebration by and for them.
On November 9, Janet Tucker along with the Central Kentucky Voting Rights Coalition presents a book signing event at Wild Fig bookstore (with reception to follow) with Jakobi Williams, who wrote From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago. The book highlights the long struggle for democracy and against racism and injustice and focuses, in part, on coalition building.
On November 16 (1-4 PM), CKCPJ is co-sponsoring R.A.C.E., an event targeted to resolving racial issues within institutions serving families and children of color, accepting accountability, creating impactful collaboration between gatekeepers and the community, and encouraging action to be taken. The event features a panel discussion with experts as well as questions from community advocates. CKCPJ Board members Rebecca DiLoreto (Children’s Law Center) and Marion Gibson (Race, Community and Child Welfare - RCCW) are spearheading this event.