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Commemorating the Strong Bond of Greek & African-American Communities

Archbishop Iakovos with Dr. Martin Luther King
Archbishop Iakovos marching with Dr. Martin Luther King

By Maria Ioannides – On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, the Johns Hopkins Hellenic Association and its President George Petrocheilos hosted a reception honoring the strong relationship between Greeks and African Americans. The event, which took place at Baltimore’s famed Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture, aimed in raising awareness of the existing bond, educate the guests on the issues and strengthen the relationship between the two communities. The ultimate goal of this gathering was actually the creation of a permanent exhibit at the Museum.

Honored guests include former Senator Paul Sarbanes, Lt. Governor of Maryland Anthony Brown, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Congressman John P. Sarbanes, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Deputy Mayor of Baltimore City Kaliope Parthemos, Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, as well as a host of other distinguished names of the state’s business & civic leaders.

Johns Hopkins Hellenic Association President, George Petrocheilos, welcome the guests and thanked them for their support to the association. Dr. Skipp Sanders gave welcoming remarks and then introduced a video clip of Archbishop Iakovos marching with Martin Luther King.

Congressman Sarbanes continued, giving some historical background, and then being followed by Congressman Elijah Cummings’ moving speech, reminding us all an African proverb that says: ‘if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together!’

Senator Paul Sarbanes asked to address the crowd, sharing a couple personal stories from his years in office and how he strategically helped local African Americans in making the difference.

Finally, Andreas Akaras, political advisor and attorney, closed the event by giving all the history bonding the two communities and focusing on how philotimo (=love of honor) applies in this intriguing relationship.

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