BY ETHAN FORMAN
---- — DANVERS — The owners of New Brothers Deli in Danvers Square, the former senior pastor at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, the initiators of Challenger Baseball in town, a religious studies teacher at St. John’s Prep and the organizer of the North Shore Pride Parade in Salem are all recipients of this year’s Drum Major for Justice Awards.
The individuals will be honored at the 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner at the Danversport Yacht Club on Monday, Jan. 21, an event hosted by the Danvers Committee for Diversity. The event recognizes those with a commitment to social justice and aims to build a scholarship for those high school graduates who follow King’s example.
Those being honored with Drum Major for Justice Awards are:
Kyriakos “Kary” Andrinopoulos; his wife, Patricia Andrinopoulos; her sister Gloria Kougianos; and Kougianos’ husband, Theodore Kougianos, the co-owners of New Brothers Restaurant and Deli who led an economic resurgence in Danvers Square and who are deeply involved in the community.
Karen Devaney, Tammie King and David Gotts, Danvers residents who brought the Little League initiative of Challenger Baseball to town several years ago. The program allows kids with physical or other challenges to play ball.
Gary “Gigi” Gill, who worked with Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and others to start the first North Shore Pride Parade. Gill hosts Over the Rainbow dinners each month. The dinners allow senior gay and lesbians on the North Shore to enjoy food and fellowship.
Sean McDaniel, a religious studies teacher at St. John’s Prep, an advocate for the LGBTQ youth community at the school and on the North Shore, and one of the few “out” faculty and staff on campus. He’s a co-moderator of the school’s gay straight alliance.
The Rev. Susan Morrison, the former senior pastor at Holy Trinity United Methodist from 2005 to 2010, who advocated for rights and privileges of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons who were marginalized by the United Methodist denomination. The churches she served at became fully inclusive.
In addition, Paul Marcus, the executive director of Community Change Inc. of Salem, will be the keynote speaker, and music selections will be provided by the Danvers High Chamber Singers and the Follow Hymn Interfaith Choir.
The awards are given each year in the name of King, the slain African-American civil rights leader whose sermon on Feb. 4, 1968, called “The Drum Major Instinct,” was given two months before he was assassinated. It carried a famous quote from King, who talked about the desire to draw attention to oneself as both instinctual and problematic: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice, say that I was a drum major for peace, I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.
If you go
What: Danvers Committee for Diversity's Drum Major for Justice Awards
When: Monday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m. Where: Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliott St.
Why: Event recognizes individuals who show a commitment to social justice while establishing an endowed scholarship for high school students. A nonperishable food collection for the Danvers food pantry will also take place.
Cost: $30 per person. Tickets are available through the Danvers Department of Planning and Human Services. Contact Susan Fletcher or Janell Corning at 978-777-0001, ext. 3095, for tickets or more information.