Good evening and greetings to all from your new YMCA CEO, Grady Vigneau!
As you may note, this is my inaugural communication to you via social media. Most importantly, after 6 weeks on the job, I want you to know that I am still working hard to meet all of you, to earn the respect & trust of our impressive YMCA staff (and all of you as Y members), and to explore the many interesting & diverse communities of our Franklin County. I can already confirm that my wife, Merry, and I have settled into a community and county defined by absolutely awesome folks who are at once caring, inclusive, compassionate, tolerant, kind, and determined to make a difference every day.
In that spirit, on the 47
anniversary of its delivery, I want to share with you the theme of my favorite speech of all time. On August 28, 1963,
“I Have a Dream”,
was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the steps of the Lincoln Monument in front of 250,000 people during the historic “March on Washington”. Dr. King’s iconic words remain the defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. As well, his speech literally represented an inflection point for our nation’s future. Nearly five decades later, Dr. King’s remarks retain their lofty status as one of the most influential and iconic speeches ever delivered.
Six weeks into my tenure at your Community YMCA in Greenfield, I am absolutely convinced that our fellow citizens across Franklin County continue to take to heart the inspiring hopes of Dr. King to live in a nation defined by equality, harmony, and love. Furthermore, I can promise you that your YMCA and all of us who work here on your behalf will work every day to establish the tenets of and to embrace the transformational dream that Dr. King so passionately shared!
Excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream”speech at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963
“I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this Nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’.”
“…I have a dream that one day
will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”
“ …I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“…I have a dream today ... I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. …With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”
In closing, thank you for so warmly welcoming Merry and I to Franklin County this summer. Because all of you, we are so proud to call the Pioneer Valley our home! When you next visit your Y, please stop in to say hello and let me know how we can better serve you.
All the best,