Letter from the Chairs

Dear Friends of the Human Rights Council,

Spoken Word Poet Lisa Lee

Spoken Word Poet Lisa Lee

Our first event of 2014 was the January Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, held at the Fenn School Music and Performance Hall. The performers were the Willard Fifth Grade Chorus, The Boston Children’s Choir, the Fenn School Treble Chorus and Imani from Noble and Greenough School. The musical groups sang separately and together and all were inspired by the varied and moving pieces that consisted largely of African-American spirituals. We were also thrilled to present Boston poets Lisa Lee and Vernon Robinson. Both Lisa and Vernon captured the attention of young and old in the audience. Special thanks to the Fenn School for hosting again this year, and to our invaluable emcee, Charisse Gilmer.

mlk-ivan-massar On a sad note, our keynote speaker and fellow Concordian, Ivan Massar, was in the hospital on the night of our celebration. Ivan’s photographs of MLK’s March on Washington and MLK’s walk from Selma to Montgomery adorned the foyer at Fenn. Ivan’s photographs appeared in National Geographic, Look, Life, and many other magazines, newspapers, and journals. A devout believer in civil rights for all, he followed the Civil Rights Movement with a camera in hand. He once said that he was so taken while photo graphing MLK at The Mall in DC, he had to stop taking photos because of the tears in his eyes. Sadly, Ivan passed away a few weeks after our event. A celebration of his life took place at First Parish Church in Concord on 12 April 2014.

On 27 April at 7 PM, the Council will coordinate the Annual Holocaust Memorial on behalf of the Concord Board of Selectman. The program will feature Lincoln resident Karen Kirsten who will tell of the impact the Holocaust had on her family. The program will also include a fascinating short video shot in Jewish communities in pre-war Poland.

We hope you can attend,

Ronni Olitsky & Rob Morrison
Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council Co-Chairs