Thursday, 18 February 2021 15:42

Changing the Conversation

By Megin Potter | Education
Changing the Conversation

“‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ You could (and should) start right now by doing a small part to treat people with dignity, courtesy and respect.”  – Carol Daggs 

We are a multicultural nation. Instead of being something that divides us, our diversity can be a great source of strength - broadening our knowledge,  expanding our resourcefulness and our resilience when faced with the demands of our changing world. 

February is Black History Month and MLK Saratoga is using this time to honor diversity through a variety of educational offerings stemming from the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King and others.

“What many people may not understand or appreciate is the reality of how race can impact our experience at school and in the workplace,” said author Carol Daggs. 

Daggs was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, and her book, Saratoga Soul Brandtville Blues traces her family’s history in the area. 

It’s the Saratoga Public Library’s Saratoga READS! adult book selection for the Read Woke Challenge, just one of the many activities happening this month. 

MLK Saratoga will not be deterred from spreading their message, even by the unusual challenges of the past year. Co-chairs Lezlie Dana, Holly Hammond, and Garland Nelson overcame them and activated their 2021 theme, “Let’s Talk, Saratoga! - Changing the Conversation.” 

In January, MLK Saratoga spearheaded a four-day Dr. King Celebration Weekend.  By partnering with more than 15 local organizations, the weekend showcased 25 regional artists, performers, and writers covering a broad range of social justice topics. More than 200 participants registered for the events, and many more watched live on Facebook and YouTube.

Offered remotely and free to the public, these workshops, performances, trainings, and keynote address from Professor Loretta J. Ross, who spoke on Calling Out Culture, were made possible through the generosity of MLK Saratoga supporters, including their primary underwriter, Skidmore College, as well as through the work of Soul Session Edu-tainment, Inc., the Spring Street Gallery, and others.

Education, discussion, and greater awareness creates the bridges that connect people to each other. 

Illuminating, sharing, and elevating the lesser-known stories (that include both suffering and triumph) – give each of us the opportunity to see ourselves in others. This knowledge is the bridge that can heal our communities. 

It also inspires action, including MLK Saratoga’s Day of Service during which a variety of remote independent projects were encouraged. Collections were taken to benefit the Franklin Community Center, Code Blue, Shelters of Saratoga, and SNACpac. Temple Sinai received 1,700 children’s books to promote literacy through The Red Bookshelf project. 

As parents, teachers, mentors and community members, we are responsible for bringing richer, fuller experiences to our children that put us on common ground. 

To open doors, minds, and hearts, and to teach children their voices are valued today, free copies of Wishtree by Katherine Applegate are available for Saratoga Springs students in grades 4 through 6. To receive a copy, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

On Tuesday February 23, at 7 p.m., the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is hosting a ZOOM presentation with Carol Daggs to talk about her book Saratoga Soul Brandtville Blues. 

MLK Saratoga is promoting happenings by organizations including The Underground Railroad Education Center of Albany, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, All of Us, Northshire Bookstore, NYCLU, Saratoga Book Festival, the Urban Park Rangers, and others.

For a full calendar of events and opportunities go, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. 

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