Gloucester Daily Times, January 2022
The sixth annual observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day by the nonprofit Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation took a hard look at the racial climate in the city and how residents need to be an active allies in the fight against racial injustice. The event was held on Zoom due to the pandemic, and not in the historic 1806 meetinghouse on Middle Street. It brought together more than 100 people online and several local organizations with the theme of how people can be active, not passive bystanders in the fight for social justice for people of color, in a city that is 92% white.
“I always like to think of this event with a question, why are we here today?” said Sandy Ronan, chair of the meetinghouse’s events committee, who spoke about how King’s wisdom awakened and guided many in the 1960s, and can still guide one now. “We come to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Ronan said, “a man who lived his beliefs that all men and women are created equal and that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ We need to take the time every year to be inspired again to find the courage and commitment to stand up to racism. We need to take that time to imagine what it must be like to be in the shoes of the other. We need to be humbled again by what we don’t know about another person and learn to be better listeners.”