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News Jan 8, 2013 - 4:55:22 PM


17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Family Festival

By Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection





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The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection once again is co-sponsoring the 17th 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 20, 2013, from noon to 4:30 p.m. and Monday, January 21, 2013, 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.

The free family festival events are co-sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, Citizens Bank Foundation, the Yale Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Subway and Stop & Shop.

“The tradition of honoring the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. continues at the Peabody Museum for the 17th consecutive year, providing educational activities, performances and interactive displays featuring environmental issues in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “His efforts to ensure environmental and social justice for all people serves as a model for us as individuals and for communities as a whole.”

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 20th, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. teens from the Yale Peabody Museum's EVOLUTIONS After School Program will host their 4th annual event celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. In this interactive workshop, teens and young adults will have an opportunity to celebrate the progress we have made toward Dr. King's vision for a just society, and discuss the struggles that we still face in achieving equality for all. In this interactive workshop, we will share some inspiring words of great civil rights leaders, provide opportunities for meaningful discussion of complex current events, and help participants take action on social issues that are important in their own lives.

On Sunday, January 20, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, Mustafa S. Ali will give a talk on “Environmental Justice in the 21st Century: Moving from Injustice to Justice”. This presentation will explore the trials and successes of the environmental justice movement and how environmental justice stakeholders are moving forward to create healthy, sustainable, culturally enriched and economically viable communities.

Highlights of this year’s celebration include:

Sunday, January 20, Noon to 4:30 pm

World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)

1:00–1:30 Neighborhood Music School Premier Jazz Ensemble

2:00–2:30 East Culture Arts, Inc. — Chinese dance

2:45–3:30 Kouffin Kanecke Company — Traditional West African dance and drumming performance

3:50–4:30 White-Eyed Lizard Band — Caribbean steel drum island music
Auditorium (3rd Floor)

12:00–3:00 “Dr. King's Dream: Past, Present and Future” – Teen Summit

3:30–4:30 Environmental Justice in the 21st Century Moving from Injustice to Justice

with Mustafa S. Ali
Storytelling (3rd Floor, North American Dioramas)

1:30–2:15 Joy Donaldson — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Word and Song

2:30–3:15 Waltrina Kirkland Mullins — Never Thought I’d See the Day: Dr. King, The 50s, 60s, and Today Remembered


Monday, January 21, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm



World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)

11:00–11:40 Boogie Chillun

12:00–12:30 New Haven Breakdancers

12:45–1:00 Hillhouse Cheerleaders

1:00–1:30 New Haven Breakdancers

2:00–2:40 Taikoza — Japanese drumming

3:00–3:15 Hamden Academy of Dance & Music

3:15–3:30 The Solar Youth Drummers

3:45–4:30 Michael Mills — Drumming performance and drum circle finale
North American Dioramas (3rd Floor)

11:30 & 12:00 Dr. King’s time in Connecticut – Documentary by Simsbury High School (space limited)

12:30–1:30 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Movie (space limited)

2:00 & 2:30 Dr. King’s time in Connecticut – Documentary by Simsbury High School (space limited)
Auditorium (3rd Floor)

11:00–12:30 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 Annual Invitational Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Poetry Slam.



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 17 years, with attendance increasing from 1,400 visitors the first year to more than 6,000 during the 2012 celebration. 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/mlk/.

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 in the last 43 years, progress has been made in many places to bring such inequalities to light and to improve living and working conditions.

“The Connecticut DEEP is dedicated to honoring the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy and is committed to addressing environmental and health equity into its core programs and is now poised to demonstrate that a sound integrated approach to environmental, public health, natural resources and energy policy can lead to sustainable economic growth and job creation,” added Commissioner 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.

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 is free at all Yale University parking lots.




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