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Take A Look At MLK Embrace Honors: Friends & Family Sneaker Affair 2024

Written by Embrace Boston

January 17, 2024



A year ago we were gathered in Boston for the historic unveiling weekend for The Embrace. We were able to celebrate Boston’s newest and most impactful piece of public art along with the legacies and love of the Kings and our very own heroes of the 1965 Freedom Plaza.

This year we returned in unity to commemorate the first anniversary of The Embrace and 1965 Freedom Plaza, along with the growth and change within Embrace Boston. Embrace Boston is proud to start off 2024 celebrating our growth into an independent organization, emerging from incubation at The Boston Foundation.

“I am filled with immense pride and gratitude for the remarkable journey of Embrace Boston, from our co-chairs initial investment to the official unveiling of The Embrace to our second annual celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday,” said Embrace Boston President and CEO Dr. Imari Paris Jeffries. “We want to thank everyone who played a role in helping us get to where we are today, especially to The Boston Foundation. We’re here to celebrate the King’s legacy in Embrace fashion, but also to emphasize the work we are doing as a community to further racial equity and justice in our city. Echoing the timeless words of Dr. King: ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ Let’s continue to build a city where everyone belongs.”

A celebration of creativity and culture, the Martin Luther King Embrace Honors on Sunday January 14th encouraged attendees to wear their flyest formal attire – tuxedos, gowns and sparkles – paired with their favorite sneakers for a night of joy, self-expression, food and fare, live performances and honoring three incredible couples who have displayed a longstanding commitment through their professional and philanthropic work to building a Boston that works for us all.

Hosted by in-arena host for the Boston Celtics Melisa Valdez, and Emmy Award-winning anchor on NBC10 Boston and NECN Latoyia Edwards, the festivities also included a ceremony for Embrace Boston’s 2024 Martin Luther King Embrace Honors Cohort, spotlighting couples who worked fiercely for a more equitable Boston. The MLK weekend cohort includes Demond and Dr. Kia Martin, Paul and Sandy Edgerley, and Damian and Dr. Yndia Lorick-Wilmot.

After moments of reflection on Embrace Boston’s history and impact and its vision for the future of the City throughout the speaking program, the celebration was brimming with dazzling, high-energy musical performances from amazing local talent including Chubby Chub, ReaL P, SuperSmashBroz, Amandi Music, Slick Vick, DJ Stix and Soca Cowboyz.

This is the latest edition of our ongoing legacy. We are committed to building a more equitable Boston with the goal to build some of the nation’s most vital and largest celebrations of the Martin Luther King and Juneteenth holidays here in Boston. With a focus on engaging the community, Embrace Boston is taking a different approach to celebration by creating a place of belonging where all attendees truly get to enjoy themselves.

Embrace Boston is proud that, through our Signature Series which includes the Martin Luther King Embrace Honors and the Juneteenth Embrace Ideas Festival, over 90% of the businesses we engage are Black, Brown or Women-led. From Downtown to Hyde Park, art experiences can be the center of bringing people together and building the community up.

We look forward to continuing our celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King Honorees during our Juneteenth festivities, so don’t forget to save the date(s) for the annual Embrace Ideas Festival from June 18th - June 21st!

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