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Greenwich Celebrates the Life, Spirit of MLK Jr.

GREENWICH, Conn. – At a celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. at the YWCA of Greenwich, Executive Director Adrienne Singer discussed the racism that still exists in society. “We do have a long way to go. We have not reached the promised land,” she said. “The anger of the bigot is still heard daily. … There is no time to relax.”

At the event Thursday night, First Selectman Peter Tesei issued a proclamation declaring Greenwich’s recognition of Monday as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, state representatives urged tolerance and two local teens were awarded scholarships for their work toward racial justice.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, recalled the legacy of King, who was assassinated in 1968. "[King] reminded us of standing one afternoon against the arch of a Southern bridge right behind him, and he said, 'the arch of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ That line has always resonated for me,” said Himes.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said racism can lie with those who let bigoted remarks and actions go unquestioned. “Anybody who stands aside is in a sense part of the problem. If you are not fighting on he right side you are not neutral,” said Blumenthal, who quoted, “’the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis’  … that is the hallmark of Martin Luther King’s life.”

Convent of the Sacred Heart student Brittanie Sanders, 17, and Edward Chaplin of the Brunswick School were awarded Racial Justice Scholarships for their contributions to promoting diversity.

In accepting his award, Chaplin said, “I’d like to stand up here and say that I just know everything, but I can’t. I’m still learning, as is everyone else. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to spread education throughout the world to end racial injustice. … If we increase efforts, we can create a better world.”

Sanders challenged the crowd to embrace diversity and promote racial justice. “We can all start by donating our time at a local food bank, or giving out clothing, or simply greeting an elderly man at a grocery store. In thinking about Dr. King today, three words come to mind: love, justice, and freedom.”

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