Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration 2016


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This year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration will take place on Monday, January 18. It will feature a walking tour of Florence’s historically significant sites by Steve Strimer of the David Ruggles Center; followed by a children’s program at the Florence Community Center. AFSC’s Annual Convocation will be held at 2 p.m. at Edwards Church in downtown Northampton. Following the convocation a Black Lives Matter banner will be raised at City Hall, with speeches made by the mayor and others.

Every event during the day is open to the public and free to all.

9am: Sojourner Truth Walking Tour
Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue, Pine and Park Street, Florence

Steve Strimer of the David Ruggles Center will lead a walk of the African-American history trail in Florence. The tour will pass Sojourner Truth’s house, abolitionist sites and the site of the 19th century utopian community in Florence.  Steve will explain what brought a progressive group of people to Florence in the 19th century, how they influenced Florence’s development and what happened to those innovative and progressive people.

10:30am: Children’s Program
Florence Community Center, 140 Pine Street, Florence

Once again, a lively program – catered towards children – is being organized by Dr. Ousmane Power-Greene and others. Come and join parents and children as we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. There will be songs, stories, and activities that are geared for kids 10 and under. Please bring your own poems that inspire peace, justice, and equality.

10:30am: Doorknocking for Racial Justice!
Edwards Church, 297 Main Street, Northampton

Facebook event: WMSURJ Doorknocking Event

The Western Mass chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice, would like to invite you to a group door knocking event. We will first practice and then go out and talk with our neighbors in Northampton about Black Lives Matter. Another group will stay inside and participate in a facilitated dialogue about racial justice in our daily lives. Coffee, donuts, training and debriefing included.

mlkday-convocationfront2pm: AFSC Convocation
Edwards Church, 297 Main Street, Northampton

Facebook event: AFSC’s MLK Day Convocation

The American Friends Service Committee will hold its 32nd annual celebration of Dr. King with a presentation by Smith College students of their anti-racist work, an intergenerational conversation of activists from Black Lives Matter to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the 1960s, with heart-lifting music by Marcia Gomes!

The first panel is entitled Faith and Identity: Student Organizing for Racial Justice in an Interfaith World and is facilitated by Reverend Matilda Rose Cantwell, featuring several Smith students and their work for racial justice on campus.

The second conversation is From SNCC to Black Lives Matters: An Intergenerational Activist Conversation from Black Lives Matter to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee . The facilitators will be the two co-hosts of the “Black in the Valley” radio segment, Dr. Carlie Tartakov and Rev. Dr. Jacquelyn Smith-Crooks. Discussing anti-racist work over the decades will be Rev. Dr. Adele Smith-Penniman, Dr.  Trevor Baptiste, Malcolm Torrejon Chu, and Charnice Charmant.

Local radio station WHMP (AM1400/1240/FM96.9) will be there and broadcasting the convocation – live! And free “Black Lives Matter” yard signs will be distributed at the conclusion of the event.

Local radio station WHMP (AM1400/1240/FM96.9) will be broadcasting the convocation – live!

A number of “Black Lives Matter” yard signs will be distributed at the conclusion of the event.

(Approximately 4pm): Black Lives Matter Sign at City Hall
City Hall, 210 Main Street, Northampton

Facebook event: Black Lives Matter Sign at City Hall Ceremony

After the convocation, join the mayor, city councilors, and civic leaders to witness a “Black Lives Matter” banner being put up on City Hall! Join our community in affirming the importance of acknowledging and confronting racism!