Vol. 12 No. 2 - February, 2010

MLK celebration speaker calls for elevating the national conscience

mlk speaker
UMMS Technology and Media Services
Darnell L. William, president and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts

Members of the UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center community came together in January to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 22th Annual Tribute, sponsored by the UMMS Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office. Darnell L. William, president and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, was the keynote speaker.

The theme of Williams’ remarks was what he called the three Cs—confront, challenge and change. He called upon members of the UMMS–UMass Memorial community to honor Dr. King’s legacy by looking inward at their own actions as a way of elevating the national conscience and changing the status quo. Prior to leading the Urban League, Williams was in charge of management recruitment and development at Mass General Hospital and was also a diversity consultant in private practice.

mlk chorus
UMMS Technology and Media Services
The Burncoat High School Chorus, led by David Twiss

 In addition to Lewis, School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte and UMass Memorial Medical Center President Walter H. Ettinger spoke, both reflecting on the importance of this annual celebration and the necessity of continuing the work of Dr. King. As in years past, music was an integral part of the event. Among the highlights was a moving performance by the Burncoat High School Chorus, led by David Twiss. The ensemble sang the national anthem and the U2 song “MLK.” The traditional song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was performed by a UMass Memorial staff member, Leslie T. Clark, a senior charge processor in the Central Business Office. She also led the audience in singing “We Shall Overcome.”