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Independent Thoughts: Town tunes in to honor MLK

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Featured, Featured: Features

COVID curtailed the town’s Martin Luther King Day activities last month, but two local organizations hosted memorable virtual events on MLK weekend.

On Jan. 17, the Hopkinton Freedom Team hosted an event broadcast on HCAM that featured keynote speaker Jamele Adams, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Director for Scituate Public Schools and the visionary of the Freedom Team concept that originated in Natick.

Adams told participants he hoped they would take away at least four things from his presentation.

1. “It is our time.”

2. “Freedom is fearless.”

3. “Love how you love who you love.”

4. “The only things undefeated are time and love.”

Said Adams: “I’ve never seen love lose. And time, we don’t have enough of it, but we use what we have. You can’t beat time. You can’t. We all have a certain number of ticks in life, and in that heart. So rock with it and make every day count.”

Adams shared a few quotes from Dr. King, including one of his favorites (a quote that actually originated with Mahatma Gandhi): “Non-cooperation with evil is as moral an obligation as is cooperation with good.”

Lynn Canty, one of the event’s organizers, explained how Dr. King has served as an inspiration for the Freedom Team.

“Dr. King inspired the world with his vision of an integrated society full of love, inclusion and trust,” she said. “This is the energy that fuels the Hopkinton Freedom Team. We aspire to not only be the change we wish to see in the world but to also lead by example along the journey.”

The event also included taped appearances from U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, Select Board Member Muriel Kramer, Town Manager Norman Khumalo, Hopkinton Public Schools Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh, South Asian Circle of Hopkinton representative Namrata Mathur and Vineyard Church of Hopkinton Pastor Sarah Schneider. Five student members of Hopkins School Principal’s Cabinet shared a presentation as well.

One day earlier, the Islamic Masumeen School of Hopkinton’s Zoom event included speeches from Town Clerk Connor Degan, Police Chief Joseph Bennett, United Parish of Upton Pastor Lourey Savick, Islamic Masumeen Center of New England religious leader Agha Mehdi Ali (who also spoke at the Freedom Team event), Blak Madeen performer Yusuf Trombly and Sunday School students.

MHC makes news

Hopkinton’s Abby Rosenberg made an appearance on WBZ-TV Channel 4’s morning news program on Jan. 31 to promote her organization, Mental Health Collaborative (MHC).

The nonprofit teaches mental health in schools, including in Hopkinton, where the program was piloted.

“I realized that mental health literacy and that foundation is really, what I think, the missing piece in our country,” Rosenberg told WBZ-TV. “We really do such a good job at teaching all kinds of literacy, but not so much mental health.”

MHC staffers cover topics including good mental health, understanding the different illnesses and treatments, stigma and the language around mental health.

“For a lot of these kids, they’re suffering and they are seeing things that, either in themselves, or in other people, that they can’t put a name to, so this helps them put a name to it.” MHC educator Gabrielle Giordano told the station.

Giordano added that this type of program is long overdue in the schools.

“It’s amazing to me [that it hasn’t been instituted before],” she said. “I wish my kids had this. I wish I had this. It seems so simple and it seems like, why aren’t we doing this? And when you teach this to kids, knowledge is just everything, right?”

Local teachers bring game

When Walpole High School hosted Norwood in boys basketball on Jan. 20, it was believed to mark a first in state history: two female coaches of boys teams facing off against each other.

The Norwood coach is Kristen McDonnell, a familiar name locally as Norwood plays with Hopkinton in the Tri-Valley League.

The Walpole coach is Jenna Galster, who is a teacher at Hopkinton High School. Galster previously served as head coach of the Holliston boys and was an assistant for the Dover-Sherborn boys the previous couple of seasons. She is in her first season at Walpole. …

Popular Hopkinton Middle School teacher Jeff Kearney recently stepped down as the softball coach at Medway High School, where he had served as coach for nine years. Kearney was the Tri-Valley League Coach of the Year in 2017 and led the Mustangs to the league title the following season.

Kearney also is a longtime high school referee in soccer and basketball.

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