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Volunteers called to celebrate ‘spirit of ’59’

Get involved: from left, activist Tulani Bulford; Curb president Lynne Winfield; Kim Jackson, of Mirrors; and Glenn Fubler (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

This spring will mark 60 years since activists from the Progressive Group organised the 1959 Theatre Boycotts that brought about the end of segregation.

The community group Imagine Bermuda announced its campaign to promote civil engagement to honour the legacy of the pioneers who battled for equal rights yesterday, on the official start of spring.

Glenn Fubler, founder of the group, said the anniversary was a chance for “all of us to creatively address the regeneration of today’s Bermuda”.

He added: “We are not just looking back, but leveraging it to move forward.”

Mr Fubler said: “Please, Bermuda, let’s work together and move forward based on the wonderful example we have been given through the Theatre Boycotts.”

Mr Fubler was joined by Tulani Bulford, a volunteer worker with prisoners at Westgate jail; Kim Jackson, a co-ordinator for the Mirrors Programme which helps at-risk young people; and Lynne Winfield, the president of Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda.

He encouraged members of the public to pitch in and volunteer for public service through the site volunteer.bm, run by the Centre on Philanthropy.

Ms Jackson said Mirrors had created several programmes. These range from conducting walks to explore Bermuda’s fortifications to a cleanup at the Southlands estate in Warwick.

She added: “We’re excited because it is young people who are generating these ideas and putting something in place to make it happen.”

Mr Bulford has brought together nine volunteers to work with Westgate prisoners on what Mr Fubler said were “informal restorative practices”.

He said: “We’re looking for as many volunteers as possible. We could have a personal mentor for every person incarcerated.”

Ms Winfield added community engagement was “one of the most critical things we can do”.

She said: “People all over the world are coming forward to engage in civil activities to make their world a better place.”

She added Curb backed restorative practices in “many organisations” and was committed to its own truth and reconciliation conversation groups.

Mr Fubler said: “Any and all are invited to join the campaign of civic engagement throughout the island this spring, in the spirit of ’59.”