Discussion of King’s dream set

Published 10:06 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017

The dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be the focus of discussion at an upcoming meeting designed to build consensus on racial issues among Suffolkians.

The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. June 27 at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St.

Dr. Joseph L. Bass, a Hobson resident, will lead the meeting as a facilitator. He said he hopes to bring people together and sees King’s dream as a topic on which it might be possible to build consensus.

Email newsletter signup

“We don’t seem to be making an awful lot of progress” toward the dream, Bass said. Various events and initiatives throughout the years lost steam, he added.

“To get people to come together, they have to come to some kind of agreement about something,” Bass said. “To make that happen, there needs to be a person who is a facilitator.”

He aims to be that facilitator at the June 27 event, where participants will discuss topics such as what Suffolk will look like when it achieves King’s dream and what individuals can do to strive toward achieving it.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, at the March on Washington, King said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Bass said a lot of conflict right now is along racial lines. But King’s dream is a good thing to strive for, he said.

“I think a lot of people, at least on a surface level, can agree that is where we ought to be going,” he said. “Dr. King’s dream could be something where we can get some kind of consensus on the issues.”

Bass said Suffolk suffers from at least one challenge in getting people to come together — geography.

“Suffolk is a particular challenge, because we’re one-third the size of Rhode Island,” he said. “How do you get people together when there’s a large geographical area?”

He said he hopes the meeting leads to further meetings as well as action.

“You’re not going to get anywhere until you get people to work together,” he said.

Bass said the nonprofit organization he runs, ABetterSociety.Info Inc., is able to accept donations to defray the cost of space rentals for the series of meetings. He can be contacted at ABetterSociety1@aol.com.