This year we chose the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center, our partner in Cuba as one of the 2020 CRLN Honorees. Their work to build bridges and connect communities internationally has inspired us for more than twenty years. Despite the many barriers caused by U.S. policy, the Center has worked to welcome delegations from around the world to Cuba to learn from Cubans and to share in international visions for liberation.
The Center is a macroecumenical association of Christian inspiration. It supports the Cuban people and their Churches in solidarity and prophetically through sociotheological reflection and training, popular education, communication, comprehensive service to the community and the promotion of international solidarity.
Part of their work on international solidarity is welcoming delegations from around the world and creating opportunities for delegates to hear directly from the Cuban people about their reality.
They have welcomed many delegations from CRLN, Witness for Peace and other organizations. Most recently CRLN’s summer intern, Daisy Hernandez, participated in a delegation at the Center and created a three part webinar series available on our website. The experiences delegates have on these visits strengthens their ability to advocate for an end to harmful U.S. policies toward Cuba.
The Center was founded on April 25, 1987 as an initiative of the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Marianao (IBEM) and the work of Pastors Raúl Suárez Ramos and Clara Rodés, as well as other close collaborators.
Today the Center has a leadership team made up of Executive Director Joel Suárez, Reverend Izett Samá, Kirenia Criado Pérez and Marilín Peña and it continues to live out its values of:
- an emancipatory ethic of Christian inspiration;
- the conscious, rebellious and prophetic commitment to the Cuban people, the Revolution and socialism;
- the defense of a full life for all human beings as a centrality, without exclusions or discrimination, linked to respect for the rights of nature.
- generational diversity, gender, skin color, origin, sexual options, occupations, knowledge and beliefs, with an ecumenical sense of social justice.
While the pandemic has made delegations to the Center impossible, it continues to work in its many other areas and is connecting virtually through webinars such as the recent webinar organized by Cuban and US religious organizations.
We are inspired by all the work of the Center and want to deeply thank them for welcoming us into their communities.
To learn more about the work of the Center please visit their website at: https://cmlk.org/