The spirit of togetherness was evident in ARC of Rockland’s 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King celebration, Friday, January, 15 at ARC headquarters in Congers, NY. More than 150 people attended the event which included a drum circle led by Arthur Lorde of the Motherland Rhythm Drummers, a vocal performance by the Hemlock Melody Makers led by Angel Hill, and the unveiling of an original mural created by artist Lauren Rudolph of Little Light Studio with artistic contributions by people who receive services through ARC of Rockland.
Keynote speaker was Dr. Arlene Clinkscale, the first African-American woman in New York State to lead a school district. She taught in Pearl River and Spring Valley and ultimately became District Superintendent of Nyack in 1981. Dr. Clinkscale spoke of a time within her memory when people with disabilities were relegated to the periphery of society. She noted that the men and women present at the ARC celebration exemplify the message of equality espoused by Dr. King.
Also present at the event were representatives of non-profit organizations at which people with developmental disabilities volunteer their time. “Today, people with developmental disabilities, live, work, attend school as integral members of the community,” said ARC Executive Director Carmine Marchionda. “Dr. King sent a message of liberty and justice for all… and that message is at the heart of what we do at ARC of Rockland.”