Young Voices Displayed At MLK Breakfast In Orono

Wayne Harvey

Updated 3 years ago

The 16th annual Martin Luther King Junior breakfast was held at the University of Maine in Orono Monday.The keynote speaker Dr. Denise Patmon thinks the message Reverend King put forth in the 60′s is still alive and well today.And it was on full display by one of the young speakers.” I think that his message is being heard more now than it was back then in large part because we’re a global society,” said Dr. Patmon.That message has spread to Bar Harbor and to 14 year old Hannah Paradis. She started a Black History Program at Connors Emerson Middle School last year. ” It actually went farther than i had planned,” she said. “I’m really excited about it because I started off as like a really small thing for the school and then people started calling me because they saw what I was doing.”It started with her making contact with one of her teachers and spread from there showing her every voice matters. “It does show me that one person can make a difference because people have told me that my whole life but I didn’t understand that and now I get it. It’s one voice turns into many voices.”” We don’t often see images of young people like Hannah, like my son Luke who are finding their voice and sharing their ideas at the table with everyone else,” said Dr. Patmon.The Reverend King went to Moorhouse College at 15 years old, and the similarities in age and ideals between he and Hannah have not gone unnoticed. “My teacher Dan Sulman actually told my that I’m doing exactly what he wanted to do and wanted people to do and that made me really happy because I didn’t look at it that way. I just looked at it as something that I really wanted to do.”And if Dr. King’s call for civil rights is fulfilled here there is still more to be done according to Dr. Patmon. “I think there will always be a message, I think human rights is a message that will be with us forever. There will always be oppression somewhere and injustice anywhere affects justice everywhere.”


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