In past years Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was celebrated in Wellesley at a community-wide breakfast sponsored by World of Wellesley (WOW), in partnership with other groups that varied year to year. Although remembrances in Wellesley for Dr. King were held virtually in 2021 and 2022, WOW took a pause on putting together an in-person event for 2023.
Since sticking close to home for an in-person program honoring the civil rights leader wasn’t an option this year, many Wellesley residents instead attended the Needham Diversity Initiative‘s observances of the national holiday at Needham High School. We heard the program was wonderful, which is unsurprising given that part of the grassroots organization’s mission is to create “positive and genuine relationships, friendships, and amity between individuals, communities, and institutions.”
The program featured keynote speaker and Needham resident Michael O’Neal. The Needham High School graduate is a professional life coach, and has served as director of the Young Fathers’ Program at the Urban League.
Also part of the MLK Day celebration: a dramatization of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by the Eliot Elementary School chorus; music by the Plugged In Teen Band program; a reading segment by WOW co-president Rama Ramaswamy of MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail;” and more.
Thanks to the Initiative for welcoming your neighbors.