“What shape must the world be in to provoke you to try to change it? Not just with your vote, but with your voice, power and influence? Do you realize you are enough…to change a community…to start a movement…to educate a child…to fulfill your life purpose? What will be your legacy?”

—Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO, Louisville Urban League, Kentucky Opera Privileged Systems: Perpetuating Injustice panelist

Awakenings, a new series at Kentucky Opera, offers arts-centered community conversations that challenge tradition, question social narratives, and invite varied perspectives. For our February 2020 production of The Marriage of Figaro, we held an Awakenings panel discussion at Historic Locust Grove, Privileged Systems: Perpetuating Injustice. The panel was comprised of community leaders from University of Kentucky, the Urban League, and Americana World Community Center. Panelists and audience members explored how the opera’s themes of unjust systems and the power of community continue to resonate.

Two esteemed panelists have spoken about the injustice taking place across the United States and in Louisville, sparked by the murders of black Americans, and the protest movement fighting for justice.

Dr. Everett McCorvey, Director and Executive Producer of University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, grew up in Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Read why he is calling this time in our nation the second wave of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sadiqa Reynolds, Esq., President and CEO of Louisville Urban League, was interviewed on June 4, 2020 on NPR’s All Things Considered on the protests taking place in Louisville. “I’m proud of these young people for doing what they need to do, and I’m proud of those in my generation, the 40-somethings … that are here to protect them,” she said.