The FCC Adult Ed Team hosted this series in the Fall of 2016, concerning the lives and works of local heroes from the Greater Springfield area, people among us who have made the world a better place.
Tony King is the former captain and last surviving member of the 1934 All-Star American Legion baseball team from Springfield, MA. When racial prejudice threatened to keep their only African American player off the field in Gastonia, NC, the team chose to follow their captain & stand up for their teammate over following their dream of playing in the championship game.
Lifelong activist & community family doctor Marty Nathan won a major civil rights lawsuit in 1979 when her first husband was killed marching against the Ku Klux Klan. She founded the Greensboro Justice Fund which helped grassroots organizations fighting against racism, environmental injustice, union-busting, antigay violence & civil liberties violations in the South. She and her current husband, Prof. Elliott Fratkin helped found the Cliniquita Fund to bring health care to undocumented immigrants, and four years ago, helped found Climate Action Now, which has formed the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition. She is a columnist and regular contributor on issues of climate justice to the Daily Hampshire Gazette & the Springfield Republican.
Christine Judd leads a Springfield organization called ROCA whose mission is to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young people ages 17-24 transform their lives. Ms. Judd will give an overview of ROCA, the evidence-based Intervention Model for High-Risk Young People they use and the remarkable success that they have enjoyed so far. Learn more at http://rocainc.org/who-we-are/.
Past president of Springfield College, Glenn Olds, was asked by the FBI to dis-invite Martin Luther King, Jr. who had been asked to deliver the commencement speech at the 1964 graduation. Olds refused and King delivered his speech without interference. Dr. Marty Dobrow of Springfield College is currently writing a book about it, and will tell the story of this local hero.