Rochester hosts annual ‘We Have a Dream’ Celebration

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(ABC 6 News) – Across the nation, people are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rochester is no exception. Monday, the Mayo Civic Center hosted the annual ‘We Have a Dream’ Celebration.

For the first time since 2020, the event was held in person. The event was hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, the Rochester NAACP, and the Rochester Diversity Council. Along with breakfast, people heard from student poets who were challenged with turning a Dr. King quote into a poem.

“So there’s a process. We collect poetry for about 45 days,” Dee Sabol, the executive director of the Rochester Diversity Council explained.

“It’s grades 3 through 12 and then there is a cohort of judges who go through the unattributed poets and poems, and select the winners.

“We have to keep reinvesting in his message and we have to be active and courageous when we do that.”

Those messages, inspiring people of all ages and taking Rochester in a new direction.

“You know, Dr. King mentioned that people were afraid of one another because they don’t know another because they haven’t communicated with one another,” said Wale Elegbede, the president of the Rochester NAACP.

“I think in Rochester, you know, great things have happened. We still have a lot of challenges but there’s a lot of great movement and great strides.”

Elegbede also spoke on how important it is to continue teaching the youth about Dr. King.

“You know, the children are our future. The youth are just talented and the more we give the youth opportunities, we engage them in this process is going to be key. We are all big advocates of the youth -the NAACP, the Diversity Council, the Chamber.”

This year’s keynote speaker was Kevin Lindsey who works with the Minnesota Humanities Center. He spoke on how Dr. King’s messages are still relevant today.

After the ceremony, there was a freedom rally where people took to the streets of Rochester to share Dr. King’s message.

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