We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

— The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Beginning Jan. 6, Art Circle Public Library will feature displays honoring the Jan. 15 birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and February as Black History Month. 

Members of the Upper Cumberland Diversity Advocates, neighbors interested in educating, celebrating and advocating diversity and equality, prepared the displays which will be in place until Feb. 28 in the library at 3 East St., Crossville.

The focal point of the displays will be the timeless teachings of King as well as textiles, sculptures and artifacts depicting the diverse populations and cultural traditions of Africa, a continent consisting of 47 independent countries and six island nations.

The library display will also include books, photographs and videos about The Clinton 12, the first black students to integrate Clinton High School in December 1956.

To support the UCDA mission, the library has compiled a collection of books and videos that promote an understanding of diversity and equality. 

UCDA evolved from a small group of Cumberland County residents who wanted to resurrect efforts to celebrate the county’s increasing diversity. 

COVID-19 canceled plans for a diversity forum in April 2020. Since then, UCDA has published educational and entertaining news articles and used social media to communicate its mission.

Most recently, the community was informed by the news article Winter Holy Days and Holidays.

Representatives of the UCDA will share its message with the Fairfield Glade Rotary Club on Jan. 19 via Zoom. 

Rotarians are a diverse group of professionals who work to make a positive difference in our community by providing humanitarian service and helping to provide goodwill and peace in the world.

UCDA will not be stopped by COVID-19. The group is investigating ways to communicate information from distinguished speakers on the issues of poverty, race, LGTBQ and religious diversity. 

A speakers’ bureau is being developed, and an interfaith worship service is being planned for later in 2021. 

UCDA looks forward to celebrating the history and rich cultural traditions of this diverse community. The public is welcome to consider joining those efforts by sending an email to UpperCumberlandDiversity@gmail.com or following Upper Cumberland Diversity Advocates on Facebook.

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