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Stamford March Keeps King's Dream Alive

STAMFORD, Conn. – A chorus of “We Shall Overcome” and cries for justice and equality rang throughout the streets of Stamford as hundreds marched in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday morning. The cold weather did not stop the marchers as they walked from the Bethel AME Church to the Yerwood Center , carrying signs bearing King’s face and his message.

The annual NAACP march started with prayers and song at the church and ended with speeches at the Yerwood Center on the importance of education, voter registration and repealing the death penalty. Marchers of all ages braved the cold air, and people driving by and standing on the sidewalks honked horns and yelled in support of the message for peace and equality.

Community leaders and elected officials spoke about all the work that has to be done to accomplish King’s dream.

“I wonder if Dr. King were here today, what he might think,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District. “There is so much yet to be done. As long as there is violence against children in Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport, his work and our work is not done.”

Former Stamford Board of Education president Dudley Williams said that, although school funding and education reform are important, the most important aspect of education is for parents to encourage their children.

“You as parents and family members have the greatest impact on the education of your children,” Williams told the crowd at the Yerwood Center. “The biggest thing you can do to support your child is letting them know that what they are doing in school is important to you.”

Ben Jones of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty spoke about how race plays a part in death penalty cases and that those who commit crimes against white people are more likely to receive the death penalty.

“Returning hatred and violence with more hatred and violence is not a solution,” Jones said. He pointed out how King was a staunch opponent of the death penalty.

Valerie Baker of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority urged everyone in attendance to get out and vote this year.

“The time has come for us to march from discussion to action. Our vote is our voice, and our voices will be heard,” she said. “The only vote that doesn’t count is the one not cast.”

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