‘Reaching for the mountaintops:’ Brown County holds annual MLK celebration

Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Brown County
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 6:29 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Washington and Lombardi middle schoolers kicked off the 28th annual Brown County MLK Celebration through song.

The sound of voices, drums and claps rang through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Saturday.

“It first started or first evolved with the need of the community wanting to honor Dr. King and his legacy,” Co-Chair Rhonda Chandler said. “I think his legacy would be to include all people and to respect individuals but most importantly community.”

The program included readings from the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, plus performances and awards.

The theme? Reaching for the mountaintops... how do we get there?

“Personally, reaching for the mountaintops...- What are we doing?” Chandler began. “What am I doing as an individual in this community to make it better? To make it inclusive?”

Students from all over Brown County channeled Dr. King’s work, creatively, for a chance to win some prizes. Community members got to check out a display showcasing poem and artwork submissions.

“I thought of it as the perfect opportunity to write something poetic about your own challenges that seem large, colossal, immense. Just like mountains,” Foxview Intermediate student Liana Mahfuz said.

Mahfuz won for her poem ‘Climbing my Mountain (figuratively).’

Here’s an excerpt:

She’s looking forward to celebrating her achievement and remembering MLK’s legacy.

“He went through a lot of challenges so being able to present my poem that represents challenges... I think that’s really important.”

Speakers said while reaching for the mountaintops, there’s still work to do.

“When I step off this stage I go back to serving some of the community’s most loving, but marginalized, survivors,” Robin Scott said after winning a community award signifying her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

NWTC President Jeff Rafn said, “Perhaps even overreact in order to make this the community and society we all deserve.”