A larger-than-life mural at Madison Park High School depicting longtime Boston community organizer and politician Mel King was dedicated in a ceremony last Friday, Nov. 22. The artwork, which was painted by artist Genaro Ortega, shows King in a contemplative pose, with his chin resting on his fist and a cardinal perched on his shoulder.
King and his wife Joyce were in attendance at the ceremony, during which he spoke briefly and led chants of “Team Work leads to Dream Work” and “It’s not about me, it’s about we.”
King, 91, a former state representative, mayoral candidate finalist in 1983, and co-founder of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, has worked in community activism for more than 70 years.
Over the decades, he has written about and advocated for change in such varied fields as housing, technology, job creation, medical, education, and economic development to improve the quality of life for Boston residents of color. He is called a mentor and role model by thousands of men, women, and children across Boston. In the program from Friday’s dedication, ceremony, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School offered the following statement about King’s legacy:
“Mel King has been a strong supporter of career technical education and has fought to bring technological opportunities to children of color within the various Boston communities. The Digital Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) at Madison Park TVHS is an example of Mel King’s continued fight to make sure that our children have access to the latest educational and technological advancements to become creators of their own destiny and to engage with the rest of the world on a level playing field.”