Ex Fabula: A Nation of Dreamers

Jan 20, 2018

Earlier this week the nation celebrated the life and lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From the nation’s capitol to the smallest classrooms here in Milwaukee we reflected on MLK’s activism, achievements and his timeless dream.  It’s been 55 years since King’s “I have a Dream” speech called for an end to racism, and for civil and economic rights. And here we are in 2018 still fighting to make that dream a reality.

This week we’re sharing stories from Ex Fabula community collaborations. The first comes from an Ex Fabula Fellows event “Talking to Kids about Race,” and takes us back to 1964 through the eyes of the storyteller. The second story, from "Refugees: A Curated Storytelling Event" takes us from past to present and reminds us that our immigrants and refugees here in America are interwoven into MLK’s dream and must be included in the work of the present and the future.

In 1964 the civil rights movement gained momentum with marches throughout the nation. Marshall Hemphill was a young boy growing up in Arkansas. From a young age, Marshall’s mother taught him that the best answer to racism is education and that he must never let racist hate consume him. Listen to Marshall’s story from his first civil rights march with his mother to a confrontation in a doctor’s segregated waiting room and find out if he was able to hold to his mother’s teachings.

Storyteller David Najiv Kasir
Credit Art Montes

David Najiv Kasir is not a refugee but he comes from refugees. After fleeing Turkey during the Armenian genocide, David’s grandfather settled in Syria. His parents eventually came to America and settled in Chicago where David was born and raised (visiting Syria regularly). Listen to David’s story as a first generation Arab-American and how, as he watches the Syrian crisis from a world away, he waits for word of family members and uses his art to give the Syrian people a voice here in America.

This season Ex Fabula Fellows continue the discussion of housing, segregation, talking to kids about race, and race and public health. Join us on January 25th for our first interactive storytelling event of 2018, "Race and Place: Community Dialogue and Storytelling."  This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.