18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Family Festival

Press release from the Connecticut DEEP

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is co-sponsoring the 18th annual two-day family festival Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice. This FREE festival takes place on Sunday, January 19, 2014, from noon to 4:30 p.m. and Monday, January 20, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven. The festival will focus on environmental and social justice, civil rights, nonviolent advocacy, equality of resources and community enrichment.

“DEEP takes pride in joining other partners to recognize and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – a man whose efforts to ensure environmental and social justice for all of us exemplified his dedication and perseverance to make a difference,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of DEEP. “This celebration of Dr. King provides opportunities to educate and entertain visitors with a wide variety of activities, performances and interactive displays that exemplify the legacy of this fine man.”

The two days of educational activities for families and people of all ages and backgrounds include performances by members of the New Haven community and from around the world, including music, poetry, children’s storytelling and dance.

On Sunday, January 19, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. teens from the Yale Peabody Museum’s EVOLUTIONS After School Program will host their 5th annual event celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. In this interactive workshop, teens from around Connecticut will come together to understand the role of food and health in social justice, and define the role that they can play to resolve issues of food justice within our communities.

Also on Sunday, January 19, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Jacqui Patterson will give a talk on “Another Way Is Possible: Forging a Path to Preserving a Sustainable Planet.”

The schedule of this year’s celebration includes:

Sunday, January 19

World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)

1:00–1:30 p.m.  Neighborhood Music School Premier Jazz Ensemble

2:00–2:40 p.m.  African Arawak Connection

3:00–3:15 p.m. Hamden Academy of Dance & Music

3:45–4:30 p.m.  Kouffin Kanecke Company — Traditional West African dance and drumming  performance

Auditorium (3rd Floor)

12:30–3:30          “Sitting at the Table of Equality: Teen Involvement in Food justice” —Teen Summit

4:00–5:00         Another Way Is Possible: Forging a Path to Preserving a Sustainable Planet

With Jacqueline Patterson

Storytelling (New Haven Museum, 114 Whitney Avenue)

12:45–1:30 p.m.                Karen Johnson — “Baba, the Farmer” and “Butterflies Should Be Free”

1:45–2:30 p.m.                  Joy Donaldson — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Word and Song

2:45–3:30 p.m.                  Waltrina Kirkland Mullins — ”Remembering Martin!… and More!”

Monday, January 20

World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)

11:00–11:40 a.m.              White-Eyed Lizard — Caribbean steel drum island music

12:15–1:00 p.m.                Taikoza — Japanese drumming

1:15–1:30 p.m.                  Solar Youth Drummers

2:00–2:40 p.m.                  Brian Jarawa Gray and Friends

3:00–3:30 p.m.                  Nation Drill Squad Youth Program

3:45–4:30 p.m.                  Michael Mills — Drumming performance and drum circle finale

Auditorium (3rd Floor)

11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.                    Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Community Poetry Open Mic — An opportunity for people of all ages to share their original poetry or            rap and speak their minds on issues of justice and injustice. Pre-registration required.

1:00–4:30 p.m.  Annual Invitational Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Poetry Slam. Invited Poetry Slam Participants: Christopher Caligas, Christopher Johnson, L.NuNuu, Aaron Jafferis, Jashua Sa-Ra, Porsha O., J.F.Seary, M.A. Hustleman John 1:1, Mind Evolution, Influence, Danny Matos, Nichole Acosta, Chelcee Lorraine, Rico Frederick, Camonghe Felix, Rachael Finley

                                 

Plus more than 25 hands-on educational activities for families.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental Justice Family Festival has grown during the last 18 years, with attendance increasing from 1,400 visitors the first year to more than 6,000 last year.  Activities are for adults and children of all ages, including teens. For further information contact the Yale Peabody Museum at (203) 432-6646 or visit www.peabody.yale.edu/events

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strove to raise awareness about urban environmental issues and public health concerns that disproportionately affect communities of color. While these issues have not disappeared, progress has been made in many places to bring such inequalities to light and to improve living and working conditions.

“Dr. Martin King’s dedication to equality and nonviolence helped shape the world we live in today.  His work, contributions, and hope for a better place to live continues today as communities and  DEEP commit to address environmental and health equity in our state,” added Esty.

Environmental justice is based on the principle that all members of a society have the right to clean air, water and soil, as well as a right to live in communities where they can raise their families in healthy and nurturing natural environments. Further, environmental justice includes a guarantee of equal access to relief and the possibility of meaningful community participation in the decisions of government and industry.

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History would like to thank the following for their generosity Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Citizens Bank, the Yale Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Subway and Stop & Shop.

Directions: In New Haven, Connecticut, take Exit 3 off Interstate 91 (either north or southbound) onto the Trumbull Street connector, and make a right turn at the second intersection onto Whitney Avenue (follow the posted signs to the Yale Peabody Museum).

The Museum is located at 170 Whitney Avenue, at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street, one block north of the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Trumbull Street.

Parking: Weekend parking is free in all Yale University parking lots.

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