Our Time to Break Silence at Monroe Street United Methodist

Doug 419 Community Youth Chorus with children of the Ann Jerkins-Harris Academy of Excellence lead by Director Dianne Stubblefield-Moore

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

Monroe Street United Methodist Church, along with Toledo Public Schools, held Our Time to Break Silence, A Toledo Community Reading of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.

The event observed the anniversary of one of Dr. King’s most inspirational speeches, delivered at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967. The dynamic speech was given exactly one year before his assassination.

The welcome was given by Lynne Hamer, MLK 2024 Organization Committee Chairperson and Member of the Monroe Street United Methodist Church. A number of organizations and individuals presented musical selections, poems and speeches for the annual event.

Dr. King’s speech had three key messages that the committee hoped would resonate in the turmoil and injustice in the world today. The Organizing Committee selected key lines that point to these themes:

Children and performers at MLK Our Time to Break Silence 2024

* Listening and compromise are necessary to resolve conflicts at any level

* Violence hurts poor people more than anyone else

* Those who can, must speak out on behalf of victims of violence who cannot

* We must listen to and understand our “enemy’s” point of view

* Rich and powerful countries should not support bombing people

* People across the world are uniting in revolutionary calls for peace and justice

* Only Love-not bombs-can triumph over hatred and evil

* We must all make the active choice for love and solidarity-and must do so NOW

The performers for the day included:


Musical Selections

Toledo School for the Arts (ISA) Chamber Orchestra Ensemble

“We Shall Always March Ahead” – Arranged by Jay Welenc


Scott High Vocal Ensemble
“Aya Ngena” – Arranged by Ruth Morris Gray
“Nothing is Gonna Stop Me” – Arranged by Pink Zebra

Spoken Word

“Time is Ticking” – By Anonymous
“Eenam Hashem” – Perrysburg Schools
“Leen Heyari” – Dublin City Schools



“If I Must Die” – By Rafaat Alareer
“Rhaya Heyari” – Dublin City Schools


Short Orations for MLK Observance

Toledo Public Schools Students:

Taylor Windsor
Caleb Short
Andrew McQueen

Musical Selection

The Doug 419 Community Youth Chorus with children of the Ann Jerkins-Harris Academy of Excellence

“Breaking the Silence” written by Dianne Stubblefield-Moore

“Quote from Frederick Douglass” written by Dianne Stubblefield-Moore


“Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson ~ Clarence Smith, Founder and Director of Clarence Smith Community Chorus


Oscar Shaheer, MILK 2024 Organizing Committee

Bell Toll
Patricia McCauley, MLK 2024 Organizing Committee

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

Representatives of Toledo and Northwest Ohio Organizations

Breaking Silence in Fellowship
Vietnam Veterans historic display, offered by Joyce Stubblefield;
Palestinian-American storytelling; information tables; punch, cookies, and conversation

Audience Participation
Vernita Lewis Taylor, Toledo Public Schools, Reader Leader

The MLK 2024 Breaking Silence Organizing Committee included:
Fatima Adajani, Amer ah Archer, Patty Baughman, Marilyn DuFour, Leon Fitzpatrick, Tom Galloway, Diane Gordon, Pat Groves, Lynne Hamer, Bill Hoover, Vernita Lewis Taylor, Pat McCauley, Oscar Shaheer, Ruth Solo, Joyce Stubblefield and Joan Walldorf

If you would like to participate in next year’s event, contact the committee via call or text to 419-283-8288.