Ambassador Emerson hosted an intercultural reception to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. day (January 19) and the issues of tolerance, diversity, equal rights, and freedom for 170 distinguished guests from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities, as well as German, Turkish and Arabic business, political and community leaders actively involved in integration. The date of the reception was especially relevant given the tragic events in Paris and Belgium. The audience included Ambassadors, Archbishop Dr. Nikola Eterovic, Apostolic Nuncio and Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps; heads of Islamic religious groups and interfaith leaders from all over Germany, and five Members of Parliament. Leonard Bernstein’s daughter Jamie Bernstein was a special guest of the Ambassador. (Leonard Bernstein was involved with human rights activism and is well known for changing the word “Joy” to “Freedom” in his concerts celebrating the Fall of the Berlin Wall.) Also the short film “West Side Berlin,” the product of an anti-violence project with minority youth groups based on themes from Bernstein’s “West Side Story” was screened.
A pianist performed songs of Leonard Bernstein and from the Civil Rights movement.