Earlier this month, representatives of Hope Gardens had the honor of attending the Annual University Martin Luther King Jr. Day Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation. This event was held the evening of January 17th in the Friday Center for Continuing Education, and celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by honoring individuals and organizations whose actions reflect a commitment to serving their local community.
A highlight of the banquet was the powerful keynote speech given by Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall, President of Bennett College and proud UNC alumna, titled “A Dream Deferred: The Time is Now”. In this speech, Dr. Fuse-Hall spoke powerfully on the importance of youth being both allowed and encouraged to pursue their dreams and passions from a young age. Her point was driven home with moving quotes from the Langston Hughes poem “Harlem (Dream Deferred)”, which painted a picture of the consequences of a dream left unfulfilled. She also stressed the unsettling fact that a large percentage of minority youth doesn’t have access to the American dream due to a lack of resources and support. Dr. Fuse-Hall concluded her speech with a powerful call to action, urging every American to not only do everything within their power to make their own dreams a reality, but to help others reach their dreams as well.
During the award presentation portion of this event, Hope Gardens and Heavenly Groceries each received the “Bridge Builder” awards, which recognize organizations that have built meaningful, positive relationships with their surrounding community. Hope Gardens was honored to be recognized for our efforts to combat barriers to food access in the Chapel Hill community, a mission which manifests itself through our connection with the Interfaith Council Shelter, Homestart Women’s Shelter, and our community gardeners. Co-chairs Sierra Houck and Sierra Dunne were proud to represent Hope Gardens at this special event (see picture below). This award is a testament to the positive impact Hope Gardens has on the greater Chapel Hill community, and we thank each and every member for all of their hard work in making this happen!