Bill Bateman, Joseph P. Buchanan and the late David Hector, Sr. honored in special ceremony.
Mayor Angel Taveras joined with City Council President Michael Solomon and community and faith leaders on Wednesday evening to officially induct three exceptional Providence community advocates into the 11th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame.
Each year, inductees are honored for carrying on the legacy of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by making substantial contributions to acceptance, social justice, civil rights and equality in Providence. Mayor Taveras selected this year's honorees from a list of nominations submitted by the Providence Human Relations Commission.
"It is a great honor to announce this year's Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame inductees - Bill Bateman, Joseph P. Buchanan and the late David Hector, Sr.," said Mayor Taveras. "These three individuals have been exemplary advocates for the people and neighborhoods of Providence. Each in their own way, these inductees assure us that Dr. King's pursuit of equality and justice is alive and well in our community."
Bill Bateman has been a member of Laborers Union Local 271 for 30 years and has spent much of his life advocating on behalf of his community. In August, Bateman organized the 'Defenders of The Dream' march and rally in Providence. The event brought together civil rights activists, anti-poverty workers, labor, religious and governmental leaders, and individuals from all walks of life 50 years after Dr. King's historic March on Washington.
A lifelong resident of Providence, Joseph P. Buchanan grew up in the Roger Williams Housing Project and from an early age aspired to make a difference in the lives of those who struggle with poverty. He has worked professionally, volunteered for, and served on the boards of numerous community organizations including People Acting Through Community Efforts, the Roger Williams Tenant Association, Roger Williams Day Care Center, the Black Political Action Committee, and Direct Action for Rights and Equality.
David Hector, Sr., was honored posthumously for his work as the founder of the faith-based organization Salvation 220 Ministry, which he ran out of his home for more than 40 years. David Hector, Sr. was deeply involved in the Mount Hope community and was known throughout the city for his kindness and his concern for the disadvantaged. He taught Bible studies and ran Community Music Forums that brought people together to express faith through music.
The program included a spoken word performance by Rhode Island College student Justin Davis, who is the cofounder and president of SPOKEN, a RIC student club for spoken-word poets and other artists. Musical performers included John Britto, Eastern Medicine Singers and the RPM Voices of Rhode Island. Reverend James Ford of the First Unitarian Church of Providence delivered a message of peace and hope.
The names of the inductees will be permanently inscribed in a plaque in Providence City Hall.