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Glenville Young People Remember King, Black History

Story by Allegheny West Conference Staff

Glenville youth and young adults spend a day remembering black history and how far America has come since Dr. King appealed for change.

This year Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day) did not pass by the young people of the Glenville church without some reflection and action. The teens and young adults of Allegheny West Conference’s Cleveland-based congregation decided to honor the civil rights activist with a service project.
Young Glenville members Taina Casimir (pictured below) and Orlando Grant led the special day. They started by teaming up volunteer congregants with City Year, a volunteer organization that works with inner city youth. Volunteers painted Glenville church classrooms as well as the office of John Coaxum, associate pastor, and picked up trash in the community. To give a sense of how far Dr. King’s legacy has reached, organizers streamed live President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremonies throughout day. When Obama started his speech, everyone rested, enjoyed refreshments and reflected on America’s history.
The youth and young adults got an opportunity to give their feedback on black history during a “segregation simulation” game. Members designed the game to help the young people understand how black men and women were treated in America’s recent past.
Later the young people also took to the corner of a nearby major intersection—105th and St. Clair streets—armed with posters and signs asking passersby to honk for MLK Day. They set out to get 100 honks and spread awareness to those who may have forgotten about the day. They exceeded their goal, and many applauded their efforts.
At the end of the busy day, all of the volunteers stood in a circle to share what they learned. After enjoying cake, each participant was sent home with a commemorative T-shirt.
“Most volunteers said they normally stay home and do nothing for MLK Day, but after this experience, they hope to do something like this again very soon,” said Coaxum.


Glenville church’s young people appeal to passersby at a busy intersection to honk in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


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