Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Outreach to Hispanics is part of ambitious Nashville MLK parade plan

"Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds." -Letter from Birmingham Jail

The Tennessean reports in this article that a plan to make Nashville's 2007 parade celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. the biggest in the country includes an outreach to Hispanics.

"About 7,000 people attended the Martin Luther King Day Parade earlier this year. The event included services at the Jefferson Street Baptist Church and an outdoor program with music and performances that was geared to younger people."

"But this latest effort to beat Atlanta — think the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and Tony Giarratana's 65-story tower, which would be the tallest building in the South — is fueled by a desire to realize King's dream of including all people."

"Organizers are reaching out to more whites and Hispanics, many of whom have participated in the past, as well as to Asian and Kurdish residents."

"Yuri Cunza, president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said Hispanics' participation made sense even though the black quest for civil equality in the 1960s was different from the current Hispanic struggle."

"'It's only natural for a population like ours to relate and embrace and respect that history,' Cunza said. 'Ours is a different struggle, but at a human level and civil rights and human rights level we can relate to them."

"'We want to be there for them as we would want them to be there for us.'"

The Hispanic Nashville Notebook turned to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Letter from Birmingham Jail as a voice for inspiration in 2006 (story here).

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