On Sunday, November 1, 2009, Miami joined in the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission hosted a Town Hall exploring Lincoln, Miami and the American Dream at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
Prominent educators, historians, elected officials and other community leaders, reflected on the lessons of Lincoln’s life, and discussed the impact that his life and words have on Miami today.
Moderated by Channel 4 anchorman Antonio Mora, the following respected panelists voiced their thoughts on how Lincoln’s life and words are shaping Miami more than 200 years since his birth. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, author and former FIU professor Dr. Marvin Dunn, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen, Florida Immigrant and Advocacy Center Executive Director Cheryl Little, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center Executive Director Gepsie Metellus, Dade Community Foundation retired President Ruth Shack, 19th century American history professors Dr. Darden Pyron from Florida International University and Dr. Donald Spivey from the University of Miami.
Keynote speaker Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., Director of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, discussed his most recent book, Lincoln on Race & Slavery, and offered insights into how Lincoln’s legacy will continue to affect our nation in the future.
Attendees had the unique opportunity to enjoy performances by the Ambassador Chorale of Florida Memorial University and the orchestra of the New World School of Arts. Former Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning also read an excerpt from the work “Lincoln’s Portrait.”
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
Prelude Media Night
All photos by Manny Hernandez