Tag Archives: CECELIA


By Rosalie Tirella

Rose, December 2020

Yep. 2021 begins in Worcester, but it’s the same old song and dance: Amanda Wilson, head of the City of Worcester Building and Code department, located on Meade Street, already seems MIA. Or maybe it’s just her heart that’s stopped pumping. Amanda says – YES! THE CITY NEEDS AN APARTMENT REGISTRY! But NO! NOT THIS YEAR! IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR!

Now why would a big important city department head, in charge of making sure all of the city’s rental units are fit for human habitation (many are not), not move ahead and DO HER JOB? Make sure all the rental apartments/units in Worcester are up to code?

Oh, right. It’s an election year. She needs to not upset the apple cart – keep her job. Amanda’s partner – a contractor – was once involved with bilking the City of Worcester of millions of dollars when he headed up various building projects for the City’s CDCs. He was found guilty of robbing the City of millions of dollars as he built his super-inflated$$$ CDC apartment complexes. So Amanda better keep quiet now.

Another question for you: Why would District City Councilor Matt Wally declare his candidacy for an at large city councilor slot this election year – and not mention his signature political campaign issue/promise of political campaigns past?: ESTABLISHING AN APARTMENT REGISTRY for the City of Worcester?

Well, Matt knows better: it’s an election year! And he wants to get elected to an at large seat at all costs. So he can run for mayor in a few years. … Why upset the apple cart? In this case a mighty voting constituency: developers, landlords, realtors, the Chamber of Commerce yahoos. It seems likely Mayor Joe Petty will retire from the job in a term or two. The pandemic, racial challenges, the tanking local economy…COVID. It’s all taken its toll on our modest, likable, often competent mayor. He’s tried to do the right thing but Petty, like CM Ed Augustus, has been wrung through the wringer many many times. They are both pushing 60. The Murray-McGovern political poo-bas seem to be poo pooing reality and grooming Matt Wally, another insipid Worcester-Irish boys-club insider, for the mayoral slot. Another boring, vision-less, gut-less white guy to lead Worcester, a city that’s fast becoming a majority-minority city. Can Wally lead us into a new post-pandemic reality?? Or is he another walking political anachronism? Another elite lucky Woo boy who will shy away from making TRANSFORMATIONAL changes in our city’s police department, school system?

Why, when I called the Worcester Police yesterday about the abusers downstairs here in my building, did the lady cop in the WPD’s Operations Division start SCREAMING – abusing – me?!! Right after the police department touted their just-received grant$$$$ to help abused women? Why aren’t these nasty people trained – despite all the training they receive? Why the police brutality? Still? And why would Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent tell the city: THERE IS NOT ONE IOTA OF RACISM IN THE WORCESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT!!! What blue-colored goggles is Police Chief Steve Sargent wearing?

2021. In Worcester. Again. Just press the rewind button, fellow citizens!

Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent. CECELIA file photo: Ron O’Clair

🐶Victory for Siberian Huskies and Husky mixes!❤🐶 ExxonMobil to Drop Iditarod Sponsorship!!


Victory! ExxonMobil to Drop Iditarod after Massive PETA Campaign!!

By Katherine Sullivan

Rose’s Husky mix, Jett, and hound mix, Lilac, are THRILLED at the great news! Huskies are sweet, intelligent, beautiful dogs who deserve our respect and love – not exploitation!! pic: R.T.

ExxonMobil — one of the Iditarod’s last major sponsors — has confirmed that 2021 is the last year it will sponsor the death race. This huge victory for dogs, who deserve better than being run to death for mushers’ prize money, follows a tenacious PETA campaign …

Photos: PETA

ExxonMobil has sponsored the Iditarod since 1978 and has given the race $250,000 per year for the last several years, so to get the gas giant’s attention, we pulled out all the stops. Together, we “stuck” it to Exxon at its gas stations, erected a billboard near ExxonMobil’s Irving, Texas, headquarters; placed bus ads near the Iditarod’s start in Anchorage, Alaska; slammed the company on Twitter; sent it more than half a million e-mails; called it hundreds of times; and held protest, after protest, after protest:


And it has all paid off. ExxonMobil will soon join the growing list of companies – including Chrysler, Alaska Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Jack Daniel’s – that have listened to PETA and the public and stopped supporting an evil industry in which dogs are chained up like old bicycles …


At a kennel operated by former Iditarod champion John Baker and by Katherine Keith, two of whose dogs died during past Iditarod races, a PETA eyewitness observed dozens of frantic dogs kept constantly chained to dilapidated wooden boxes, often with little to no straw, in subzero temperatures … And forced to run so far and so fast that their bodies break down, their paws bleed, or they die after inhaling their own vomit.


In response, PETA has canceled our upcoming ads — featuring a spoof “ExxonEvil” logo and a twist on the company’s “Tiger in Your Tank” campaign — that we had planned to run in the Anchorage Daily News and the Texas edition of the Wall Street Journal next week.

After meeting with executives, the group has agreed to withdraw its 2021 shareholder resolution (the action that was apparently the final straw), which asked ExxonMobil to end all sponsorship of activities in which animals are used, abused, and killed.


More than 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod since it began, and that doesn’t include those who died during the off-season. Birch, an Iditarod dog endured horrific neglect at this “kennel” co-owned by former Iditarod champion John Baker. Despite sustaining a crippling, extremely painful spinal cord injury when she was just a puppy, she was denied veterinary care and chained in the freezing cold 24/7.

Then when officers visited Team Baker Kennel in 2019, Baker claimed that Birch had recovered and said (suspiciously) that he’d sent her to another dog musher in Canada.

… or the Siberian Huskies and Husky mixes who were killed because they weren’t fast or fit enough to make the grade. Dogs used in the race are forced to pull heavy sleds across approximately 1,000 miles of grueling terrain, through blinding blizzards and subzero temperatures.

During the 2020 race alone, more than 220 dogs were pulled off the trail because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes. However, despite the death toll and a public outcry — and even though ex-sponsors have been running for the hills and a veterinarian has warned Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach that if the race is held during the COVID-19 pandemic, “the result could be dire” — Urbach and his colleagues still plan to hold the death race in less than two months.

Wells Fargo, State Farm, Panasonic, and others have ended their support of the Iditarod after hearing from PETA and you — so let’s put the pressure on Millennium Hotels and Resorts to follow suit.
Thank you!!!

💙Chef Joey in France! So stylish! Here’s his NEW RECIPE + PICS!!🌾🌹🌻


Text and pics by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey has made Rose a beginner cook!

In France … We Catholics celebrate the Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas on January 6th every year. This is to herald the arrival of the three wise men who went to Bethlehem to see the newly born Jesus.

The Recipe’s History:

It is basically a puff pastry cake with an almond filling – “frangipane.” Not everyone likes almonds, so apple compote can be used, or even peach preserves, as the filling.

The cake or ‘pie’ also has a fève (bean) in it. The fève is now usually a small ceramic figurine! Whoever finds it in their piece of cake is king or queen for a day! This tradition dates back to the 14th century and now lasts the whole month of January.

Originally the youngest child would go under the table, and every time a piece of this cake was cut, he or she would dictate who received that slice of cake. Whoever gets the “bean” gets to be king or queen for the day and gets to pick their respective king or queen. Nowadays, whoever gets the ‘bean’ must buy the next cake – that is why it lasts the whole month of January!

The Recipe:

It is a quick and easy set up that requires pre-made puff pastry sheets that you can find in the freezer section of your local super market. They usually are the ‘Sarah Lee’ brand.

Open the package and separate the sheets – when thawed unfold the sheets and let them lay flat.

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You can make apple filling …

Take one sheet and place on the bottom, spread the filling all around leaving a 1-inch gap around the edges.

Note the American sheets are usually square – no need to waste and make it round it still tastes the same. Spread which ever filling you want and place the “charm” and then cover with the top sheet. Roll the edges and score the top with diagonal lines or swirls for effect. Then glaze the whole pie with a beaten egg for color.

For the filling:

1 cup of powdered almonds
2 sticks of soft butter:
🌼🌼(you can use vegan butter – too: EARTH BALANCE is a great brand)

½ cup sugar
2 eggs

Mix all the above ingredients together and spread on the first sheet of puff pastry. You can cook up 2 or 3 peeled apples in a fry pan with a little butter and sugar and use that as a filling or spread a generous layer of peach jam in the middle. DON’T FORGET THE FEVE!!



This is usually eaten …

… with a sparking cider.

Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.

If using a convection oven, be sure to turn your pie half-way through.



❤Vegan Cheat Sheets❤:



🌺New recipe and pics from Chef Joey!!🌼


Photos and text by Chef Joey

ICT_Yum Yums-edited

A quick fast recipe! To make gnocchi:

Take about 2 good sized potatoes …

Boil them (you can also substitute a cup of mashed potatoes).

Add a cup of flour –

Basically, it’s equal parts potato and flour. Then add some salt, and my trick is a tablespoon of baking powder.

Mix well until like pie crust (if using boiled potato mash it). Add a little water or milk to get the right consistency …

Roll your “dough” into logs …

Take a fork and flatten out the top to make the lines …


Cut the logs into strips …

Cut the strips into small pieces …


Boil in hot salt water for about seven minutes …


… until they float to the top.

Serve with your favorite sauce …

For the tomato sauce you see here, I took some cherry tomatoes and put them in the food processor with a couple of cloves of garlic and a handful of fresh parsley. Then I simmered it for 15 minutes:


Inauguration 2021!!

By Edith Morgan


January 20, at 12:32 p.m: Now it’s time to get to work! There was some wind, a couple of snowflakes, and then blue sky, as the ceremonies began, just before noon in Washington.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar stepped up to the microphone, made introductory remarks, as co-chair of the planning committee for the event, followed by co-chair Roy Blunt. A few moments of invocation followed …Lady Gaga then made a grand entrance, wearing an enormously bouffant red gown, she and sang the National Anthem. She was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by a Black female officer.

And then came Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor …our first Latina Supreme Court justice, she came up to swear in Vice-President Kamala Harris, our first female, woman of color vp. She looked pretty – bareheaded and windblown in her deep purple suit designed by a designer who is Black. Jennifer Lopez, dressed in flowing white gown, then sang two songs: her own special blend of “This Land is Your Land” and “America.”

SC Chief Justice John Roberts then administered the oath of office to our new President, Joe Biden, who had his left hand on what appeared to be an enormous antique Bible, held by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. It’s been in his family for decades.

Biden then gave his address. As we probably all expected, he touched on all the themes America needs to hear now: UNITY, renewal and resolve. He had us all take a minute of silent prayer for all the victims of the novel coronavirus and their families and friends. A constantly recurring theme was that ALL of our people are needed, and that while democracy has thus far triumphed in our country, it is fragile and needs us all to survive. We achieved the peaceful transfer of power this time, as we have so many times before. The TV cameras several times panned over the past US presidents who were there with their wives: the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas. The Carters were missing, as Jimmy Carter. 95, could not make it; outgoing VP Mike Pence was there also throughout the entire ceremony.

Biden listed all the great tasks before us: we have great challenges in the area of the coronavirus, jobs, business, racial justice – but together, in UNITY, we can work on all of them!! While there were no specifics, there was instead a repeated exhortation to work together, remember our shared history, our faith and reason. Biden urged us all to start afresh, listen to each other, really see one another! He promised to give his best, so that our children would be able to say “He did his best.”

After thousands of Trump lies, distortions and misinformation, we can expect that Biden will, as he promised, always level with us, the people.

Garth Brooks then sang “Amazing Grace,” asking the audience to join him for the final verse. That reminded a number of us of the rendition of that song sung by then-President Obama after the Sandyhook massacre …

As a sort of grand finale, America’s first youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, recited her poem – a most impressive rendition of all that we have been through these past four years – exhorting us to have hope, be strong in our diversity … She really brought out the rhythms and sounds of the English language to remind us all of our goals and tasks ahead. I was amazed that one so young – just 22 – and beautiful! – could be so persuasive!! She was truly a fitting finale to this very important and classy event. After the flags were retired and the guests of honor filed out, the attendees filed out quietly and in a peaceful procession.

I was glad to see that decorum and style had returned to our national proceedings. The rest of the world surely was watching and must have been impressed. American Democracy is, for now, alive and well.

🌺Countdown to the Inaugural!!!🌺

By Edith Morgan

Edith, in her urban garden🌾🌾🌾🌹

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration promises to be one we will not soon forget: It takes place amid the continuing spike in the contagion of the COVID 19 epidemic, so there will not be great discussions about the size of the crowd. (there will not BE a crowd!!) There will be no unusual and memorable events to fix this one in our hearts and heads.

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Go, Joe!!!

At my age (90 years old), I have seen many such events, every four years, since I came to America when FDR was President! I really do not recall anything about the events of 1944, as I was just getting acclimated to this country, and scarcely aware of national politics. And, of course, there was no TV and no other mass media, and telephones were rather rudimentary.

FILE - In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)
FILE – In this April 13, 1934 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiles as he speaks to a Congressional welcoming committee which met him at Union Station on his return to Washington. (AP Photo)

The Presidential inauguration ceremonies and parades that stick in my mind were JFK’s and, of course the 2016 one. JFK’s sticks in my memory because the weather was cold and icy and the newspapers reported there was a heater beneath the podium. And when Robert Frost read a poem of his, the podium caught fire! We were watching the TV with some friends from New Zealaind, who commented that our ceremonies were so quaint! They felt we really needed a King and Queen to carry out these ceremonies properly!

The next inauguration I remember vividly was the one which gave us our first Black President, Barrack Obama, and the approach to the Capitol was packed as full as possible. Four years later, when Trump was inaugurated, there were many fewer people assembled there, but Trump claimed, despite the obvious difference we all saw in the newsreels on TV, that it was the BIGGEST crowd ever!!! Those lies continued for the next four years. But the evidence is still there despite the exhortations to ignore our eyes and “follow our leader.”

In the past, people of all walks of life were at our inaugurations – packed together like sardines but quiet and orderly and happy! This year, there will be tens of thousands of armed police and national guard troops, guarding the approaches to the site, as well as physical barriers of cement, barbed wire and fencing and hovering helicopters and government snipers. And I suppose all kinds of surveillance equipment.

I noticed that in the past, at the ceremonies, there were whole families assembled: children in baby carriages, others sitting on their fathers’ shoulders, couples, old people – all knowing they were participating in a historical event. To see but not to be seen … It was the age before “selfies” and the incessant ego trips which are so common now.

MLK Jr. worked closely with US Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy – and LBJ – to pass historic civil rights laws in America in the 1960s.

I remember our various First Families strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, with crowds lining both sides of the street, waving flags and cheering. Now, that will not happen because of the virus, but mostly because it would be too dangerous.

And, as for the speeches, I have to admit that I remember little of what was said! I was really much more intent on seeing all the people: America, our country, proudly honoring our Constitution. Lovingly following her democratic traditions …
The global pandemic has changed the way we will celebrate tomorrow …

In honor of “MAJOR”🐶💚 BIDEN!!! – Watch PETA’s Virtual Inaugural Drive-in Party!!🐈🐩🐾

Text from PETA.ORG:

Lilac❤ – Rose’s rescue pup 1

Jett❤🐾🐾 – Rose’s rescue pup 2!!

Times may be difficult in our nation’s capital, but that won’t stop PETA from celebrating Major Biden — the first adopted “First Dog” (FIDO) in the White House …

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Go, Joe!!!!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

— or the major progress we’ve made for animals, thanks to help from our animal champion friends in Congress.

Our planned drive-in inaugural eve party at Washington’s Union Market had to be called off because of road closures and a curfew, so we’re taking it virtual. Now, everyone can join in on the celebration!

Cece❤ – Rose’s rescue kitty! ALWAYS ADOPT YOUR PETS!

Our party was set to include popcorn, soup, and other vegan foods as well as bottles of oak-finished Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon (for the 46th POTUS) donated by the company and delivered to guests’ cars with dog biscuits and dog treats. But ticket holders won’t miss out: We’re arranging for “doggie bags” packed with everything needed to make a delicious vegan hot toddy—including Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon (to guests 21 and older), “bee-free” honey, cinnamon syrup, and even a lemon — to be delivered to their homes.

Hosted by PETA supporters Jane Velez-Mitchell and Edward James Olmos, our spirited virtual event includes appearances from members of Congress who have helped PETA advance animal protection, including U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who is promoting vegan eating to curb climate change and ensure species survival; U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), who worked with PETA to end the government’s psychological experiments on baby monkeys as well as the Coast Guard’s stabbing and shooting of animals in military training exercises; and Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who received PETA’s Justice in Action award for her support of bills to phase out the military’s tests on animals and stop the use of elephants in performances.


Also appearing are U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who cosponsored the BEST Practices Act, which would replace animals in military trauma training with human-simulation technology. Lee received PETA’s Congressional Leadership Award for introducing the Cecil the Lion Endangered and Threatened Species Act of 2015, which prohibits killing endangered or threatened species in the U.S. for “trophies” as well as importing such “trophies.” She also sponsored a similar bill, the ProTECT Act of 2019, and introduced the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act of 2013 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, and she’s currently sponsoring H.R.133 to enhance federal enforcement of hate crimes.

And other friends are in the video, too, including U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), who urged the National Institute of Mental Health to end electroshock and near-drowning tests on animals and cosponsored the BEST Practices Act; U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who hosted PETA scientists for a congressional briefing on cutting-edge, non-animal test methods and who co-chairs the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus; U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who called on the FBI to stop stabbing and shooting animals in archaic trauma training exercises; U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), who fought to keep dog leather out of the U.S. and to end the use of aircrafts for animal-abusing spectacles such as “turkey drops”; and U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who demanded that the U.S. Department of Agriculture help Nosey the elephant, who was being forced to perform despite serious health problems, and called on the National Institute of Mental Health to end taxpayer-funded experiments in which mice are nearly drowned, electrically shocked, and hung by their tails.

PETA’s event also includes a tribute to past FIDOs, a mini-tour of the nation’s capital with PETA President Ingrid Newkirk (find out which star she escorted through the Capitol’s underground tunnels!), stories of presidents and vice presidents who were passionate about animal rights (one of them even threatened to tie a horse beater to a stake!), and a heartwarming video of Maggie, one of the many dogs we’ve rescued.


Tony Award–winning Broadway star Beth Leavel caps it all off with an energetic musical tribute to Major Biden. With lyrics by Tony Award–winning composer Lisa Lambert and music by Adam Overett, the song—“Rescue Dog Major Biden’s Tips for a Safe Playtime Experience”—pokes lighthearted fun at the president-elect for fracturing his ankle in November while playing with his beloved pup.

“Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or undecided, one thing PETA wants you to vote for is an end to cruelty to animals,” says Newkirk. “We’re celebrating dogs and democracy as we look ahead to stronger protections for all those Americans who aren’t lucky enough to be born human.”

So pour yourself a celebratory beverage, save a spot on the couch for your canine or feline best friend, and join PETA in toasting Major Biden, major progress for animals, and more to come!

Note: PETA supports animal rights, opposes all forms of animal exploitation, and provides the public with information on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.
Happy days are here again!!

Breakfast time, in France …

Text+pics by Chef Joey

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Pal Joey!!!!

France. The country known for its delicious food, rich in butter … sauces, creams and, of course, flavor. One thing about the French: lunch is the meal of the day. Breakfast and dinner are the light side of the spectrum. My grandmother Hélène had an expression: “You eat like a prince in the morning, a king at noon, and a pauper at night.” This still rings true; lunch is an important meal. Here in France banks and many stores close for a two-hour civilized lunch break.


Breakfast is typically always a warm beverage, café au lait, tea or even hot chocolate. When I was a kid in France I walked to the bakery every morning to get the paper for my grandparents and a fresh baguette. Every now and then I would get a croissant. However, it was a treat because it cost more than a loaf of bread. It still is the same here. The price of fresh bread is set by the government and cannot be more than .95 cents for a baguette. There are many different breads, all at various prices: country style, brioche, whole wheat and even double-sized baguettes called “restaurant bread.”

My favorite memory of being a child, and now doing the same for my daughter Gigi, is a fresh baguette sliced in half and filled with butter and jam.

French toast, an afternoon snack

Confiture “Bonne Maman” is available in the states, and hands down it is one of the best. I do not go to the bakery daily; I buy the bread and freeze it immediately. Five minutes in the oven and it is as fresh as the day I bought it!

Another alternative is frying your bread in butter. It’s delicious and a great way to use stale bread. French toast is an afternoon snack for energy – I’ve never really had it for breakfast.

Another item is a piece of cake, literally! This recipe is from my grandmother, who named it after herself – Gâteau Taunte Hélène.

Aunt Helene’s Cake:

the recipe❤

Simple and delicious:

1 plain yogurt yogurt (8 oz)

1 cup sugar (I use ½)

1 tsp rum

2 eggs

½ cup oil

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Beat the eggs. Mix with the yogurt and add everything else. Pour into a pan and bake 350 degrees for about 15 mins in a 9-inch round pan. Use a toothpick to test. Simple and delicious!

We celebrate the KING!!!

By Rosalie Tirella

The dream unfolds …

For the MLK Jr. holiday I’m posting my favorite MLK speech, “live”: YOUR LIFE’S BLUEPRINT. King delivered it to a school auditorium filled with junior high students. In Philly, before his big event, The Freedom Festival, for their parents – a fundraiser to be held in the Spectrum, complete with Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte and all our other iconic Black American artists and civil rights champions. King was introduced by a Black kid with glasses; the school camera-kid drops his camera for a second and MLK disappears for a second! MLK congratulates their “fine” teachers and joked about being a long-winded preacher. He had already been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but this speech is better than that august acceptance speech. …

Alizea age 14
Be a great student!!

… This speech, though around 20 minutes long, is major – true, real and filled with love for Black kids. Not a one-off. Not a small speech given to regular kids, in a regular school, with regular teachers. Nope. It – like King – SOARS. Black kids during the Civil Rights movement in the tumultuous 1960s needed to hear this speech – we all do, today. Now more than ever!

❤photo: Fatimah Daffaie

I love MLK’s writing here: so kid-friendly and focused: “Stay in school!” he tells the students, 12, 13 and 14 years old. Love yourself! Celebrate your face, body and skin color!: “I have good hair,” King says to the kids, pointing to his hair, “and it’s as good as anybody else’s hair in the world!” 🌺MLK’s speech is so direct. He tell his young audience: “ALWAYS FEEL THAT YOU COUNT…THAT YOU HAVE WORTH. … Doors of opportunity are opening to you that were not open to your mothers and fathers.”


And it’s poetic, filled with love. We’re treated to MLK metaphors and similies that transcend boring junior high school auditoriums, the study hall setting where students snap gum and doze off. Be Shakespeare!! he tells the students. Be a lone hero!!! Be Booker T. Washington!!! Be George Washington Carver!!! Be an opera singer!!!…Stay in school, no matter how hard the journey. Be somebody! And if you grow up to become a street sweeper, “Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry!” Can’t be “the pine on the top of the hill”? Be a terrific little scrub! “If you can’t be the sun, be a star!” he says, looking like a star.


It all happens through principles of determination, excellence, aspiration … and, most and best of all, the transformational power of LOVE: “Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low that you hate them,” MLK says.



New column from our intern, Fatimah!!🇺🇸❤

Worcester’s Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Celebration Ceremony

By Fatimah Daffaie, senior at Doherty High School, Worcester

Fatimah attends Doherty High Schoool via ZOOM these days, as do all WPS students

The Martin Luther King Jr. youth celebration ceremony was held on Friday January 15, 2021, virtually through Zoom at 10:00 a.m through Worcester State University. This event is held every year; this year marked the 27th annual anniversary. Around 105 people attended this great celebration!

photos: FD

Manasseh Konadu, a Worcester State University alumni, was the minister of the ceremony. Vanessa Ford was the vocalist of the ceremony, who sang various amazing songs throughout the ceremony. The ceremony started with a moment of silence for everyone who has passed in this pandemic and also for Edna Spencer, who was a former WSU employee who was known for her compassion, volunteerism and passion to care for others.


Barry Maloney, president of WSU, spoke about the current events with racism and the BLM movement. His inspiring words were a highlight in the ceremony and a great reminder to continue fighting for justice! Following his speech, Mr. Konadu said, “The marathon continues, as we continue to fight.”

Participants usually honored and celebrated MLK Jr. at Worcester State University, with terrific breakfast buffet and lots of live music and poetry readings. This year the city event was held virtually.

This message resonated with everyone that attended the ceremony, and it was heartwarming to hear such great messages throughout the ceremony, especially with all the current events that are happening in our country, which Maloney touched upon.

Mayor Joseph Petty …
Mayor Petty. ICT file photo

… gave a speech and presented some of the awards. Mayor Petty spoke about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and his impact till today. He said, “You see his face all over the protests … .” Mayor Petty also mentioned the current events with BLM movement rallies and the Capitol siege. He said: “Be involved, don’t be neutral.” It was definitely an inspiring speech – and a crucial speech during these times in our country.

There was a video shown of Worcester elementary school students sharing their “Dreams for the world” which were:

“Not to have covid anymore.”
“Not to have racism.”
“To be back in school.”

It was wonderful to see those young kids having such dreams … their maturity and understanding was incredible!

Then the Dr. George Storms Smith Youth Service Award was presented by Mayor Joseph M. Petty to Walter Jovel, who is part of the Teens Leading the Way and H.O.P.E Coalition. The Dr. George Storms Smith Community Service Award was also presented by Mayor Joseph M. Petty to Madison Whalen, from St. Peter Central Catholic School in Worcester.

Everyone was on ZOOM!

Provost Lois Wims, from Worcester State University, presented Worcester State University Recipient M.L.K. Jr. Youth Recipient award to Elvis Njoki, Biology, Class of 2023 and Cristian Negron-Rivera, Business Administration, Class of 2023. Following that, there was a performance by In Da Zone, Boys and Girls Club, directed by Shauree Allotey.

The Olivia Rochelle Spencer Recipient Memorial Scholarship was presented to Genevive Baddoo, Class of 2021.

Poetry Contest winners were presented by Dorothy Hargrove, Chair of M.L.K. Jr. Youth Poetry Committee. She presented the awards to students from 7th-12th grades. Congratulations to all those students! We are so proud of such amazing young people!