U.S. Cultural Ambassador and HDI Celebrity Spokesperson Mary Wilson commemorated Black History Month by touring and lecturing in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey. This program was a collaboration between HDI and the U.S. Embassies in London and Ankara.
Ms. Wilson began the tour with On February 19 in Izmir, Turkey where she did a music workshop at the IKSEV Foundation for Culture and the Arts and in the evening gave a concert at Ahmet Adnan Saygun Concert. On February 20, Ms. Wilson and her band departed for Turkey’s capital Ankara where she gave a music workshop to a large group of students at the Jolly Joker Club for Guven Education and Health Foundation. This was followed by an evening concert at the Club.
Early morning on Feb 21st had Mary Wilson flying to Adana and a short road trip to Mersin where Mayor Macit Özcan hosted the group for lunch. Following an interview for Sun TV Ms. Wilson proceeded to the Mersin Cultural Center for presenting one of the most vibrant concert Mersin has experienced. The group left Mersin for the city of Adana on the morning of February 22nd where they had lunch with Adana Mayor Zihni Aldirmaz and women civic leaders. That evening, Ms. Wilson gave a classic Motown concert at Adana Municipality Theater. February 23rd was another early flight for the group, this time the next country on the program, the United Kingdom.
The following day, Ms. Wilson began HDI’s UK program in London with a lecture at the Tricycle Theater Schools. She gave her “Dare to Dream” presentation highlighting how the Supremes, three young Black girls in Detroit, succeeded against all odds. On February 25th, Mary went by road to Birmingham. There, in the West Midlands, she did interviews with two local radio stations and had a meet and greet with a local woman’s group. This was followed by a live performance at The Drum and a long drive back to London.
The last portion of this Black History Month Commemoration was in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. U.S. Consulate Belfast organized a superb program including a lecture at Lagan College. The pupils, staff and governors of the College were delighted to welcome Mary to help celebrate the opening of the school’s new building. Lagan College, Northern Ireland’s first planned integrated school, opened in 1981. Mary Wilson chatted to members of the school before performing a selection of songs with her backing singers. She then delivered her motivational presentation “Dare to Dream”, telling students that every generation has obstacles to overcome and neither background nor era matter. The young people were told to work hard to make their dream come true.
Mary Wilson brought the best of American culture to Turkey and the United Kingdom.