Labor Union Resolution
Statewide organizational sign-on letter
Y.E.S. leaders organize massive MLK celebration in Racine
by YES leaders Bryanna Scott & Tameisha Gage, student leaders with Youth Empowered in the Struggle
This Dr. King Day Celebration in Racine is a very special event for Youth Empowered in the Struggle. If you didn’t know already, YES, the student arm of Voces de la Frontera, fought for years to get this day recognized as a school holiday, and three years ago we finally won.
The story goes as such: We felt that it was unjust that other cities recognized Dr. King Day and Racine did not. Latino and African American youth proved that we deserved this day by standing up and showing that we would do something for it. We got the support of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera. We spoke and picketed at the School Board meetings, and held press conferences until we won. And for the past three years, we’ve held a huge celebration. In the morning, 175 high school students went on buses all over Racine to give their time and do community service.
Then we gathered at the Dr. King statue to hear speeches from students about what this day means to them. Then, in the afternoon, students participated in a social justice workshop from the ACLU to learn their rights. In the evening, 550 students and community members gathered for a celebration including a free dinner, African dancers, remarks from community leaders, student singers, and a message from Representative Robert Turner about Voter ID. It was amazing to see everyone together.
The moral of the story is: this day is ours. This day is set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and for decades to come, we should honor him the way he would want us to celebrate: united.
Thank you to our partners who helped plan this day: YES & Voces de la Frontera, NAACP Racine Branch, Racine Unified School District, and the Volunteer Center of Racine. Also a big thank you to our sponsors and collaborators who helped make the event possible: Racine Community Fund, Racine Administrators Association, REA-REAA Uniserv Council, Educators Credit Union, and the United Way of Racine.
Dr. Martin Luther King was a proud man of great honor that had a dream: a dream that is becoming reality. A dream that all colors will be able to come together as one and unite, not based on the color of their skin, but the content of their character. Even though we’ve come so far, there is still a lot of injustice.
Just last fall, an African American man named Troy Davis was executed because he was wrongfully accused of a crime. This is one example of many injustices that still continue today, but that’s why the students of YES are taking time out to continue the fight for justice and create a better world. So let’s honor a man who took a stand: his legacy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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