Martin Luther King Day at Rio Grande Community Farm was a Big Hit! We had 3 separate groups participate, plus an odd assortment of individuals that heard about the event. Rio Grande Community Farm had 9 members participate, VSA of New Mexico had 11 members participate and Amy Biehl High School sent over a school bus full of happy teenagers and their happy teachers, 28 in all!
We began the day describing the various work activities that the groups would be doing. These included making special trellises to grow food for Albuquerque Public Schools, clearing out brush and weeds in the community garden and completing work in the barn. All activities benefit the public at large and help Rio Grande Community Farm fulfill its Mission to serve the public.
After a great lunch partially provided by the RGCF Board (home made rice and beans), the group watched a movie about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A lively discussion followed in which the group grappled with some big issues such as: “What is the American Dream today?”, “Are people of color free today?” and “How does my Americorps experience relate to what young people in the civil rights movement experienced?”. Everyone came away from the discussion deeply moved after listening to Dr. King’s “I have a Dream Speech” and reflecting on its contemporaneous meaning.
In addition to completing several projects, we were very pleased we were able to accommodate 6 participants with disabilities, including one young man in a wheelchair.
Perhaps the most moving moment was at the completion of Dr. Kings speech in front of 300,000 marchers at the Lincoln memorial. Our group had watched the complete 19 minute speech on t.v. with its moving final statement: “Free at Last, Free at Last, thank God Almighty, we’re free at last”. The television suddenly went blank and our group sat in complete silence for over 3 minutes. No-one spoke out of a deep sense of respect for what they had just watched. The day ended on a high note as folks left.
See Photos on MLK-Day-2011.pdf