Ypsi High students mark MLK Day with silent peace march and art exhibit


Both EMU and UM have great events lined up for Martin Luther King Day tomorrow. My family, however, will be spending the morning with Lynne Settles and her Ypsi High art students, who will be silently marching from Ypsilanti’s water tower, starting at 9:00 AM, to the building on Michigan Avenue where, 150 years ago, to the day, abolitionist, author and statesman Frederick Douglass delivered a speech titled “The Perils of the Republic.” And, in that building, at the intersection of North Washington and Michigan Avenue, the students will be sharing their most recent creative work, which includes a life-size sculpture of Douglass, that, I’m told, will be reciting “The Perils of the Republic” with their voices. Given the incredible and inspiring work that Lynne and her students have done in the past, I suspect it will be awesome… Following are images of Lynne’s students, building the sculpture of Douglass along with University of Michigan’s Mark Tucker.


Here, by way of Facebook, is a little more detail from Settles about the “Our Voices Will Be Heard” silent peace march and art exhibit.

We have a voice that needs to be heard. We are THE future, It’s about the problems we are facing now. They are trying to divide us when we need to come together as ONE; to go forward instead of going back to the past, There have been protest all over the country. A different approach maybe? A peaceful march from us, the STUDENTS our actions will speak louder than any word. We will come together and march in SILENCE. We will march for our future, our future children and their lives, on MLK day this is also the 150th anniversary of Frederick Douglass speaking in Ypsilanti, our voices will be heard TODAY!

Leading our march will be Rhea McCauley the niece of Cvil Rights leader Rosa Parks. The march will start at the Ypsilanti Water Tower and conclude at the “Yes” Gallery, 8 North Washington St. in downtown Ypsilanti.

The gallery will host a YCHS student Art Exhibits “Our Voices Will Be Heard.”

In addition to having work at the Ypsilanti Experimental Space, the students will also be displaying photography at the new Go Ice Cream event space just a few doors down, on North Washington. Here’s a photo courtesy Nick Azzaro, the man behind the Ypsi High photo studio.


If you don’t happen to live in the area, or just can’t make it out tomorrow, my hope is to be posting video in the next few days, thanks to Donald Harrison at 7 Cylinders Studio. And, not just that, but Lynne Settles, one of her Ypsi High students, and local historian Matt Siegfried will be joining me this weekend on episode 55 of the Saturday Six Pack, talking about the march, Frederick Douglass, and the importance of art in post-Trump America.

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  1. Posted January 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to seeing how their sculpture talks. My mind keeps gong back to my failed Auto Mark experiment back in 2012. I’m sure technology has evolved since then, though.

  2. Posted January 15, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Lynne on Facebook just now… “Tears of joy, watching my kids on social media organizing themselves to come to the march tomorrow!”

    Show up and show them some love.

  3. ypsi citizen
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to see what the teens have created. We are so blessed to have such creative young people who are willing to USE their voices and their art to express themselves at this moment! What a gift they are offering us.

  4. Mark Tucker
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much M2 for putting this out there–it’s going to be a beautiful silent march Monday morning starting at the Ypsilanti Water Tower!

  5. Posted January 15, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    They Ypsi Community Schools press release.


  6. M
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed every minute of it, except for the part were the presumably racist white guy in a white car, who was pissed off at having to wait for a few minutes as the marchers passed, started screaming out his window.

  7. Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Guess I missed that guy. All I saw was an amazing and inspiring display of unity and solidarity with our talented youth. Many thanks to Lynne Settles, Reah McCauley, Nick Azarro, Mark Tucker, Rob Hess and all the students for their hard work to make this March a reality. Proud of them and my city!

  8. Mark Tucker
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    It was truly an inspiring and inspired event, and it was so heartwarming today to see so many people, of all ages, coming out in the early morning chill to join the Ypsilanti Community High School’s silent march, commemorating MLK day, and showing such solidarity and love for our fellow human beings. I also want to thank the many people behind the scenes, particularly those who have believed and endured and who have invested in, and have been a part of the Ypsilanti fabric for a long, long time. I especially want to thank Bonnie and Ed Penet for having the vision to bring their business downtown and for being so relentlessly supportive of the arts, of their community, and of the fact that diverse people who come together around a common cause can make some really beautiful things happen.

  9. Morbid Larson
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    EOS will jump on to claim this is slave labor.

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