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Mrs. Walker's Legacy
By Regina Hill, Esq.
In recognition of Black History month, the public has been asked to send in letters of support so that something notable will be named Mrs. Lillian Walker, Civil Rights Pioneer.
The effort started last year because a participant in the Sustainability Building Advisor Program included a piece concerning how the Bremerton Housing Authority's redeveloping of Westpark can be characterized as one of the largest gentrification projects that has ever taken place in Washington state.
The SBAP is a certificate program offered to professionals eager to apply sustainable strategies to the buildings in the communities they design, construct, and maintain. In an SBAP participant’s project, the BHA was urged to name something notable after Mrs. Lillian Walker, Civil Rights Pioneer as a means for the BHA to be viewed as an agency which appreciates the history of many who reside on its properties.
Sustainability professionals are everyday people, from a variety of ethnicities, who are concerned because so many have lost sight of the fact that sustainability of the human race and the health of the planet must go hand in hand.
Traditionally, Bremerton's Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church sponsors an annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. The celebration is also traditionally sponsored by the City of Bremerton and the Kitsap County Board of County Commissioners. The pastor of Ebenezer graciously allowed a sample letter of support regarding having something notable named after Mrs. Walker to be placed in the Jan. 16, 2012 MLK celebration program booklet. It was hoped that the letters would be presented to Mrs. Walker who was a member of Ebenezer but she was called home to glory on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2012, 11 days before the event.
As Ebenezer celebrates its centennial year, another way to honor Mrs. Walker would be to contact Pastor David Malcolm, Jr. and let him know how you can support Ebenezer.
During the MLK Jr. celebration, Joan Ferebee, NAACP, Bremerton chapter president, stated that her “hands are bleeding from all the work she has done” as president of the NAACP. Perhaps because annually she stuffs envelopes asking the community to pay to attend the organization's Freedom Banquet. What Joan did not disclose is that when two lifetime members of the NAACP attempted to breathe life back into the Bremerton chapter of the NAACP by getting anyone to join the NAACP; to add diversity in its membership and gain community support, the lifetime members’ actions were deemed “unbecoming to the NAACP.” Last but not least, Joan did nothing to try to resolve NAACP Bremerton chapter election fraud allegations. Even worse the NAACP’s national office never responded to the petitioners who asked that the election fraud allegations be investigated.
When Mrs. Lillian Walker was informed about the turmoil, which was taking place in the Bremerton chapter of the NAACP, the chapter she helped found, she immediately signed a petition to have the alleged wrong doing and election fraud allegations looked into by the NAACP’s national office. Prior to signing the petition, Mrs. Walker said “Anyone who appears to have been wronged should always have the right to face their wrongdoers. To give wrongdoers the opportunity to admit wrong and correct any hurt caused.”
Even though Black History month is over, please keep sending in letters of support to have something notable named after Mrs. Lillian Walker. This is not a Black effort, it is a community effort. Finally, if anyone reading this would support an effort to change the name of future MLK, Jr. Celebrations to: Diversity Day Celebration - In Remembrance of MLK, Jr. please email: email@example.com and state your opinion. President's Day was once called George Washington Day. Isn’t it time for us to rethink what we call MLK, Jr. programs?
If anyone is interested to learn how any person, community and/or organization can become more sustainable, contact the Cadre Trainers at www.k12.wa.us/EnvironmentSustainability or email Sustainable You, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org