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    Monday, March 20, 2023

    Let’s Go: Black History Month celebration to be held in Mystic

    The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce — in partnership with the Mystic & Noank library and community leaders — is presenting its second annual Mystic Celebration of Black History Month Program in February.

    The first celebration in February 2021 outside in Mystic River Park on February 19. We encouraged students and the community to read from their own writings or from works by Black authors that have moved them. The program was hosted by Kevin Booker Jr., a professor at Mitchell College and Connecticut College, who also offers training in leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion though his company, Booker Empowerment, LLC.

    “It has been a privilege and honor to be a part of this event for the second year in a row,” Booker said. “The event will be a true celebration of Black History as we honor and recognize the immeasurable impact our brothers and sisters have had on the world.”

    In planning the second celebration — to be held Saturday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to noon — the Chamber of Commerce and its partners have reached out to the school districts in Groton, Stonington, New London and Waterford. They are also inviting community members to sign up to perform or read at the event.

    Each reading will last between 1 and 3 minutes, including an introduction by the reader of why they chose their piece, or how a particular author inspired their original presentation. (The reasons for selecting a work of literature can often be as good as the excerpt!)

    The program will start at the Mystic Flag Pole and Anchor, where the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” will be performed by Nekita Waller, Connecticut’s 17th state troubadour. The program will continue indoors at the Union Baptist Church, indoors.

    Performers at the church will include Waller; Won-Ldy Paye, an award winning children’s book author, renowned artist and performer; and Matt Dean, a local drummer and teacher of djembe, congas and percussion.

    Speakers for the event will include Morgan Tuck, a former UConn Husky, WNBA Player and current executive with the Connecticut Sun; and Malik Champlain, founder of Passion, Hunger, Drive.

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