On Saturday, February 26, Team Nika hosted a virtual Black History Month event to honor Black and Afro-Latinx heroes in the community and district. Martha Vedrine kicked us off by singing the black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Xyra Mercer, a local high school student, spoke about her activism and how Nika’s support of her work inspired her to keep using her voice to affect change and promote the power of youth leadership.
Mukiya Baker-Gomez spoke about the history of the Black Caucus in the Massachusetts State House, told the story about Representative Mel King and his leadership in uniting the Black Caucus, and how future Senator Nika will continue the legacy. Her resounding message was that we are unstoppable when we are united.
Special guest, Sharra Owens-Schwarts, the daughter of the late Senator Bill Owens, spoke about her father’s legacy, including his involvement in setting the groundwork for reparations, the development of Roxbury Community College and the Reggie Lewis Center, and helping to destabilize the South African economy during aparthied. She shared what her father meant to her and the community.
Following the speakers, Corinne Kelton, Bridgit Brown, Isabel Torres, and Fons Cervera recognized nine 2nd Suffolk District heroes. The list of honorees included Pastor Keke de Fleurissaint, Bishop William Dickerson, Latoyia Edwards, Bashier Kayou, Dumas Lafontant, Stephen Lewis, Jose Masso, Denise Matthews-Turner, and Sarah Ann Shaw. Team Nika will continue to receive community submissions in order to honor district heroes at future events. To submit a name to us, use this form.
After the presentation, Representative Nika Elugardo spoke about standing on the shoulders of giants. For BIPOC people, all of life is political, arts, sports, business, everything! Generations have worked hard and invested in justice for all, through many obstacles. “We have problems but our problems don’t have us,” said Nika. Because of this, she claimed the residents continue to move forward to achieve that return on the investment that they have made and to continue to invest for future generations.
Finally, Campaign Manager Isabel Torres, closed out the event by asking folks to volunteer to collect signatures, promoting our donation link, and inviting attendees to follow the campaign’s new Facebook page.