By Nyesha Stone
Martin Luther King Jr. day is a day dedicated to celebrating a black man, which doesn’t occur a lot in society. Every third Monday of January, we acknowledge the greatness King brought into the world and although we haven’t accomplished his dream completely, we’re closer than 50 years ago, in a sense.
All around Wisconsin, people, businesses and organizations held different events to honor King and his work. Aurora Sinai Medical Center held their annual MLK Luncheon Celebration of King on his day. According to VP of the center, Gary Balcerzak, this is one of their many events that celebrate all kinds of diversity and is the basis of how the center was established.
Exactly 155 years ago, Jewish physicians came together to create their own establishment where they could work since they weren’t allowed to work in white-owned establishments. Their humble beginnings have lasted with them over the years and will continue to do so, said Balcerzak.
“We’re open and welcoming to anyone,” he said. “Aurora is proud to be the last hospital in downtown and we’re proud of our roots and tradition of serving a diverse community.”
The event started at noon and lasted around 45 minutes. The celebration was put together by Aurora Health Care caregivers and community members.
Aurora staff joined the community as they sang three songs together that revolved around black hope. There was also an opening and closing prayer along with an African-style dance performance by the Hawthorne African Dance Group from Hawthorne Elementary.
Five young dancers performed “Kou Kou,” which is known as the “Dance of Celebration” that started in Guinea, West Africa.
The center’s celebration also included a live band and the reading of poems, with one being read by Hawthorne student Jordan Cameron. With help of his mother, Cameron read his poem “Do You Dream In Color” to the crowd as they watched in amazement at how precise and powerful he spoke. This was Cameron’s third time being a part of the center’s event, and he believes this event and celebrating King is a must.
“He’s a savior that helped save people,” he said. “Without him, people would be hating on each other.”
Humongous cupcakes, chips and refreshments were provided for the community and staff. The event ended with a video of King on the screens as the crowd indulged in their snacks.
Balcerzak says Aurora will continue to put together these types of events because diversity matters especially in such a diverse city like Milwaukee.