Ambassador Spratlen spoke at the headline event in Bishkek, and presented prizes to the winners of the joint PAS/Radio Azattyk essay and speech contest commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech.
The winner of the speech contest in English, Nikita Menshov, delivered an excerpt of Dr. King’s speech, which brought the audience to its feet. Photos of the civil rights movement and a selection of graffiti art were also on display. Members of the “Wings of Hope” gospel choir from the Transit Center performed “We Shall Overcome” and several other gospel favorites, and led a discussion about the history of gospel music, from its roots in Africa to its use in the civil rights movement. The same group also held a performance and led a discussion for 35 students at the American Corner in Kant.
In Osh, American corner staff gathered a talking club with more than 25 Osh high school and university students. The discussion opened with one of MLK’s famous quotes, “The time is always right to do what is right.” In Karakol, the American Corner coordinator made a presentation to ACCESS Microscholarship program students. The audience learned about Dr. King and his legacy and watched a video about Rosa Parks. Afterwards the students divided into small groups in order to discuss their own dreams for the future.