Havana´s MLK Center celebrated the 20th anniversary on Wednesday, also receiving the prestigious Alejo Carpentier Medal from Cuba´s Council of State for its committed work on behalf of the island´s people.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Havana celebrated the 20th anniversary on Wednesday, receiving the prestigious Alejo Carpentier Medal from Cuba´s Council of State for its committed work on behalf of the island´s people.
The King Center, founded as an ecumenical organization in 1987, operates on the principles of Christian Liberation theology offering a range of social programs and services.
Among its activities are those related to popular education, emphasizing strategies for community organization and development; community service, centering on housing, the elderly and low-income communities; social and theological study and research; and international solidarity, by establishing links to centers, religious groups, and non-governmental organizations around the world.
The prize was bestowed to the coordinator of the institution, Joel Suarez, after which center director Raul Suarez was awarded the Distinction for National Culture by Abel Prieto, Cuba´s Minister of Culture.
Pastor Suarez remarked, «We have cast our die with the social movements, with men and women of good will.»
International messages of congratulations were also received from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Ecuadorian indigenous leader Blanca Chancoso, the Brazilian Movement of the Landless, and from Lucius Walker, who noted «the wonderful work (of the center) done to support the Friendship Caravans. » Over the years those caravans have brought hundreds of tons of humanitarian assistance to Cuba as a direct challenge to the US government's illegal blockade of the island.
Also in attendance at the ceremony was Reverend Joel L. King, Jr, the nephew of the famed Civil Rights leader. The guest remarked, «We have learned to fly through the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.»