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Chaos or community? Ardmore educator speaks at Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Longtime ACS educator Debra Fields addresses the community during a virtual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hosted by the HFV Wilson Center on Monday.

On Monday afternoon the HFV Wilson Community Center hosed a virtual celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It began with a proclamation by Mayor Doug Pfau that called upon all citizens to observe the day in honor King’s life and legacy. The celebration continued with a speech entitled “Where do we go from here? Chaos or Community” from longtime Ardmore City Schools educator Debra Fields.

Fields began by sharing a letter written by King himself about his call to become a minister. In it he stated that his call to the ministry did not come from any singular moment of inspiration. Instead it came upon him gradually as thought about how best to serve God and Humanity.

“Dr. King ministered during a time of intense social injustice. Division discrimination and racism had infiltrated every segment of society,” Fields said. “But God chose a man who had a heart for him and for the people — a man for all people, a defender of the poor, the downtrodden, the overlooked and exploited — regardless of the color of their skin. Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. and an unmistakable, undeniable impact on our society because he was a man of God with a heart for all the people.”

Fields said times such as these — filled with illness, racial tension, and problems such as suicide, domestic violence and child abuse on the rise — are the times when we should follow King’s example and serve humanity by serving God. She said we can do this by living by a set of personal beliefs and actions based on our history, our standards and our goals.

“The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worth, and we must reclaim the truth of who we are and where we came form,” Fields said. “My history did not begin on a slave ship. It did not begin in the fields, and it did not begin with a seat in the back of the bus. Your history did not begin with dinosaurs or evolution. It began in the Garden with our first ancestors, Adam and Eve. So you must decide to whom you belong?”

She pointed out that Dr. King said that injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere and that darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. King also said that hate cannot drive out hate and only love can do that. Fields said this is also illustrated by the Bible when it says to love your neighbor as yourself.

Fields believes that living by these ideals and devoting ourselves to the service of God, we can begin to overcome the challenges currently facing the world.

“So were do you go from here,” Fields asked. “Chaos or community? Well to whom do you belong?”