Gov. Deval Patrick will be hosting a reception at the African Meeting House to recognize the historic contributions of African Americans in public and community service.
Gov. Patrick will be joined by Berklee College of Music Professor Rev. Dr. Emmett G. Price, and Rahsaan D. Hall of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. The event is on Monday, Feb. 11 from 6 to 7:30pm.
This year’s event will pay special attention to the 50th Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech with the goal of highlighting milestones in the black community, most recently Gov. Patrick’s recent appointment of William “Mo” Cowan as interim U.S. Senator.
“2013 has already turned out to be one filled with milestones in the black community, in Massachusetts and across the country,” said Anny Jean-Jacques Domercant, Director of Community Affairs for Gov. Patrick. “But we must also pause and reflect on the historic milestones that brought us to this point, such as the assassinations of President Kennedy and Medgar Evers and the major strides that events like the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation made for people of color to open the doors of access and opportunity.”
Access and opportunity for people of color have been a part of the Patrick Administration more than any other governor in the state’s history. Patrick’s administration has been staffed to reflect the state’s diversity, and today minorities represent 26.2 percent of the Governor’s staff — a 627.8 percent increase from previous administrations. Additionally, 16.2 percent of Executive Branch managers are minorities — a 46 percent increase from previous administrations.
“This is an opportunity to join together to celebrate the rich and diverse history that African Americans have helped shape here in Massachusetts and around the world,” said Patrick. “As we reflect on so many milestones in American history, we also take this opportunity to move forward on the work we have left to do to grow jobs and opportunity to create a stronger Commonwealth in the near-term and for the next generation.”
Monday’s event is also an opportunity for individuals to have access to administration officials and Gov. Patrick.
“We want people to walk away with a real sense of camaraderie,” said Jean-Jacques Domercent. “The more people feel like they are a stakeholder in the history and sacrifices that have been made, the better we can progress forward together.”