El Hispano/Philadelphia- The 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr., day celebration brought together some 150,000 volunteers from across the city to be involved in thousands of activities and service projects.
Beginning at Girard College, first-term Governor Tom Wolf and first-term Mayor Kenney joined a diverse crowd of participants in kick-off ceremonies that unleashed a wide range activities, from a clothing drive, a portrait by the city’s landmark Mural Arts Program to the Urban League’s effort to introduce up to 2,000 youth in a summer-jobs program.
The city’s largest private employer, Comcast is in the forefront of efforts to bridge the digital divide in the region. A half dozen of Comcast’s community outreach team, including Marife Domingo, Ezekiel Lim, Dave Urbanwicz, Nicolas Jimenez and Andre Jimenez of Comcast, were positioned in the center of the hall seeking to enroll eligible families in their much touted Internet Essentials Program. For qualified low-income families, Internet Essentials provides broadband service for as little as $9.95/month.
In the rear of Girard’s auditorium was the historic Wagner Institute of Science exhibit, highlighting a collection of nineteenth century scientific artifacts
In addition, Jane Golden, the longtime Executive Director of the city’s nationally recognized Mural Arts Program, was instructing a group of Palestinian-immigrant students from the Al-Qasa school. As the Palestinian students painted portions of a mural of the 18th century Philadelphian Richard Allen, Ms. Golden explained, “It’s a wonderful lesson and a challenge for them. They’re creating images that are actually about lives and helps them think of the past.”
“In the history of the world Martin Luther King was a uniquely transformational figure, said Golden. “He was charismatic, insightful and fearless,” in fighting for his “inherent values of equality and justice.”
“Dr. King’s message transcended race, religion, ethnicity and still goes on inspiring our society today,” added the director of the city’s Mural program.