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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Adam Gomez and state Rep. Bud Williams joined legislative colleagues, community members, and youth across Western Mass. for the 2024 MLK Day Collaborative Community Event at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. This collaborative celebration was hosted by Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Community Music School of Springfield, and Springfield College to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

“The theme for today’s annual celebration is ‘Living the Legacy. Continuing the Dream,’ and over the course of this weekend in Springfield, we’ve honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and dream,” Gomez said. “Dr. King’s legacy is immortalized by his call for civil and economic rights for all people in his iconic ‘dream’ speech. His reminder that ‘an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ compels us to reflect on the progress we have made and the challenges that still lie ahead”.

Williams remarked on Dr. King’s enduring spirit as an inspiration for youth. “We’ve had a lot of monumental tasks that we have done in this country, but there’s plenty of work to do — more work to do. Our youth must continue dreaming and break barriers in the process.”

Waleska Lugo-DeJesús, CEO of Inclusive Strategies, also spoke during the program. “In a world marked by persistent social and racial inequities, the message of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resonates with unwavering relevance,” she said. “The struggles for justice and equity persist, demanding our collective attention and action.  As a presenting partner helping coordinate the MLK Day Celebration for 11 years, we are grateful to Senator Gomez, Representative Williams, and the Springfield delegation who serve our community.  Today is a critical reminder that we all have a role to play.  I hope everyone joining us today seeks inspiration and recommitment toward positive social change.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS), which provides accessible, affordable music education, has been awarded a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from New York Life. The grant will support the Adaptive Music Program (AMP), which connects music education and special education to improve students’ lives, impacting their social/emotional, academic, and artistic development.

“We are grateful for New York Life’s investment in AMP, which will change many lives for the better,” said Jean Deliso, CFP, an agent with New York Life’s Connecticut Valley General Office and CMSS board member. “We are pleased that our partnership will have a long-lasting impact on CMSS and the population they serve.”

The Community Impact Grant program awards grants of up to $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations, which are championed by New York Life agents and employees. Since the program’s inception in 2008, nearly 800 grants totaling more than $10 million have been awarded to nonprofits across the country.

“With this generous support from New York Life, this year, AMP will be able to work with over 800 students at more than 15 Springfield public schools, providing critical skill building, including receptive and expressive language, motor skills, and building social relationships, helping these vulnerable children build their foundation for future success in all types of academic and personal areas,” said Eileen McCaffery, executive director of CMSS.