Community leaders and youth from the Annapolis Valley honoured Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by participating in a panel discussion at Acadia University.
Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, a recognized leader in social justice, moderated the discussion that focused on the work of King and President Barack Obama, and the impact of their achievements in the Annapolis Valley.
Four youth participants reflected on their experiences in the community and discussed their hopes for the future, which include going to university and becoming an RCMP officer. They agreed that for change to continue, racism and discrimination needs to be discussed.
The theme of hope and faith carried on into the discussion among the community leaders.
“Everyone has dreams, but not everyone achieves their dreams because you truly have to believe in it,” said Warden Diana Brothers.
Bernard noted that Kings County Council is one step closer to achieving their dream through the recently-released action plan - “the first of its kind in Nova Scotia,” said Bernard.
The Action Plan for Ending Racism & Discrimination provides a work plan to help guide the future actions and work to eliminate racism and discrimination in Kings County.
Youth members on the panel included Nigel Gibson Brown, Grade 9, Northeast Kings Educational Centre; Tanisha Henson, Grade 10, Horton High School; Jordan Kelsey, Grade 12, Horton High; and Zachary Rafuse, Grade 10, Horton High.
Also on the panel were Krishinda McBride, Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights Coordinator for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board (AVRSB); Brothers; and Steve Carrington, Nova Scotia Department of Education.