MANHASSET, NY -- For the 43nd consecutive year, employees from throughout the North Shore-LIJ Health System gathered last Friday to honor the teachings and visions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The ceremony, held at North Shore University Hospital’s Rust Auditorium, was telecast to 17 other North Shore-LIJ facilities across the New York metropolitan area.
This year’s keynote speaker was ABC News correspondent John Quiñones, host of the network’s news magazine series “Primetime: What Would You Do?” The Emmy Award winner has reported extensively on the devastation of wars and poverty around the globe for more than 25 years.
During his stirring presentation, Mr. Quiñones recalled his family’s struggle to endure crushing poverty during his childhood in Texas, where he helped his father pick tomatoes and cherries in order to put food on the table. “We didn’t know it then, but we were living out the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, ‘All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance,’” Mr. Quiñones said.
Urging his captivated audience to become involved in the political process, Mr. Quiñones reflected that the role of the journalist “is to shine a light and give a voice to the voiceless.” He spoke of his revealing portraits of the poor and the disenfranchised, noting that “When people protested and their voices were heard, change happened.”
In addition to Mr. Quiñones’ keynote address, the audience was treated to an inspirational musical presentation by the Hempstead Select Chorale/Voices of Virtue, an extension of the Hempstead Select Chorale, combining current and post high school students. The recipient of international recognition, the Hempstead Select Chorale has performed in Vienna, Austria and won a global competition in Verona, Italy. In 2011, Voices of Virtue joined the Chorale to participate in another competition in Prague, Czech Republic, where they were the only American choir to compete and proudly brought home the highest score.