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Year in Review: Community

12/31/2008, 4:56 a.m.
Martin Luther King III (center), son of Dr. Martin Luther King...

                    Martin Luther King III (center), son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered the keynote address at a birthday celebration for his father at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury on Jan. 15, 2008. Twelfth Baptist was Dr. King’s church while he attended Boston University for his doctorate in systematic theology. King III is flanked by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Rev. Michael E. Haynes, pastor emeritus of Twelfth Baptist and one of Dr. King’s close friends during his Boston years. (Tony Irving photo)

                    The Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian stands before a bust of Frederick Douglass as he delivers the keynote address at the City of Boston’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, held Jan. 21, 2008, at Faneuil Hall. (Tony Irving photo)

                    In March, the Banner told the story of Adier Anyang, one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” who settled in Massachusetts. The “Lost Boys” are a group of 3,800 Southern Sudanese orphans brought to the U.S. in 2001 due to a civil war in the African nation that has killed 2 million people over the past quarter-century. (Daniela Caride photo)

                    Then-John D. O’Bryant High School student Sehar Kiani sticks a star bearing her name on the “I’m Done!” board on one of the walls at the Jamaica Plain offices of the educational nonprofit organization Bottom Line. The board features the names of all program participants who have completed the college application process. After six long months of work, Kiani was finally ready to join their ranks. (Daniela Caride photo)

                    Rachel Ssesanga (left), age 8, attends third grade at Higginson School in Roxbury. Since becoming a member of the Boston Elite Swim Team (B.E.S.T.), Rachel has overcome her swimming jitters. B.E.S.T. is a nonprofit aiming to teach inner-city youth the fundamentals of swimming. The group hosted a March Madness Swim Meet this spring at Madison Park Community Center. (Lauren Mills photo)

                    The Eiffel Tower dominates this shot of Cambridge resident Stephanie Guirand with some of the new friends she made as a study-abroad student in Paris. When the Banner caught up with her in January, the 20-year-old Cambridge Rindge and Latin grad called her Parisian excursion “very, very different” from her stateside student experiences and said the trip has taught her a lot about the world, history and herself. (Photo courtesy of City of Cambridge Mayor’s Office)

                     Participating students, parents, staff and supporters of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity Inc. (METCO) — including Concetta Paul (left) and her son Gar Paul, a METCO student in Wellesley — gathered at the State House for the organization’s 41st annual Lobby Day on March 11, 2008. Gar Paul was honored for his essay on the realization of the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Lolita Parker Jr. photo)

                      Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton (with guitar) visited the Blue Hill Boys and Girls Club in Dorchester on April 9, 2008, to play music with club members and provide professional tips. Hamilton also donated an electric guitar, keyboard and junior drum set to the Club’s Music Clubhouse. The session was made possible through a partnership with the Music and Youth Initiative. (Photo courtesy of Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston)

                    City Councilor Chuck Turner gives supporters a thumbs-up during a Nov. 24, 2008 rally at Boston City Hall. Turner was the subject of one of the year’s last major local stories — his November arrest by FBI agents on charges that he accepted a $1,000 bribe in exchange for efforts to secure a liquor license for a proposed nightclub and lied about it. Turner and former state senator Dianne Wilkerson have been indicted as co-conspirators in the bribery scheme. The Roxbury city councilor has steadfastly maintained his innocence, issuing a stream of statements and holding a series of public rallies and press conferences in an attempt to tell his side of the story. (Don West photo)

                    Ron Bell, longtime community activist and now director of the state’s civic engagement efforts, delivers an address at the first-ever Boston Civic Summit, held May 3, 2008, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston. Bell was one of several key figures in local social and political life to deliver addresses during the one-day event. (Photos courtesy of Denterlein Worldwide)

                     

                    During “Charting New Pathways to Participation and Membership,” a two-day conference held Oct. 17-18, 2008, at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, Harvard law professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. (left), the institute’s founder and executive director, presented Charles Hamilton Houston Awards to this year’s honorees (from left): Dolores Huerta, co-founder and first vice president emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America; retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of the Anglican Church of Cape Town in South Africa. (Don West photo)

                    Dianne Wilkerson waves to the crowd as she takes part in Boston’s annual gay pride parade and celebration, held in June 2008. The longtime state senator from the Second Suffolk District resigned her seat on Nov. 19, 2008, one day after being indicted on eight federal counts of attempted extortion for allegedly accepting $23,500 in bribes from undercover agents she thought were businessmen. Wilkerson had held the Second Suffolk seat since 1992. (Talia Whyte photo)

                     

                    (From left): Liz Walker, minister and host/executive producer of “Sunday with Liz Walker”; Rev. Gloria White Hammond of Roxbury; and Maya Balle of Boston gathered at the New Center for Arts and Culture’s Feb. 6, 2008 “Working to Make a Difference” event, a conversation between Walker and Liz Lerman at the Remis Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. They discussed their desire to make a difference in society through their own artistic expression. (Michael Dwyer photo)

                    Rafer Johnson (right) poses with Ethel Kennedy, widow of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. In 1968, Johnson, an Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete, went to work on the late senator’s presidential campaign, sticking by Kennedy’s side until he tragically fell to an assassin’s bullet. (Tom Fitzsimmons photo)

                    Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis (center) salutes Lloyd King (left) and George Morrison, the founders of the Roxbury Action Program (RAP), at the program’s 40th anniversary celebration. At the event, Highland Park-based RAP’s pioneering vision was recognized as the epicenter of community development efforts. (Lolita Parker Jr. photo)

                    Though she weighed just 1 pound, 14 ounces at birth, Uniqua Mason (right) fought her way past the dangers that face a premature baby. Now, with the support of her mother Jamilah (left), the happy, healthy 17-year-old is interning at Boston Medical Center, the first step toward her goal of becoming a neonatologist and helping other babies fight for their futures. (Daniela Caride photo)

                    Rodnell Collins, nephew of Malcolm X (right), speaks with Edmund Barry Gaither, director-curator of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA), during a March 2008 event at the Museum of the NCAAA on Walnut Street in Roxbury. Collins spoke about his book, “Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X” and shared insights about the relationship between Malcolm X and his mother, Ella Little-Collins, whom he likened to the archetypal warrior woman Queen Hatshetsup. (Lolita Parker Jr. photo)