Traverse City Human Rights Commission
|15 January at 6:00pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrated and Remembered
Presented by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission:
(at Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass St., Traverse City Michigan 49684)
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
On Sunday the 15th of January, the Traverse City Human Rights Commission, along with our partners, will honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate the timeless values he taught us through his example -- the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.
We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words, because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. Yet, Dr. King knew that it wasn't enough just to talk the talk, that he had to walk the walk for his words to be credible. And so we commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.
Our featured keynote speaker at the January 15, 2005 Traverse City Human Rights Commission sponsored, Martin Luther King Day Event, is the esteemed Tricia Harris, Executive Director of Social Genesis, Inc. Ms. Harris started working for Mrs. Coretta Scott King and the King Family when she was 18 years old and became the chief operating officer for the public and private affairs of Dr. King's legacy. She has been inspired by Dr. King's words: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." He warned the United States against sleeping through a revolution, he implored America to have the courage to embrace a "radical revolution of values" that placed humanity before worldly aspirations. Tricia Harris believes that, "Today, Dr. King's message is largely filtered, sanitized and no longer resembles his original intent. We have a responsibility to speak out - we are stewards of his legacy. If we remain silent we are guilty of being an accomplice to those that seek to minimize or even eliminate Dr. King's truth."
On this day we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation; a nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room at the inn for every needy child. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples' holiday.
This holiday honors the courage of a man who endured harassment, threats and beatings, and even bombings. We commemorate the man who went to jail 29 times to achieve freedom for others, and who knew he would pay the ultimate price for his leadership, but kept on marching and protesting and organizing anyway.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. All across America on the Holiday, his followers perform service in hospitals and shelters and prisons and wherever people need some help. It is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutoring those who can't read, mentoring at-risk youngsters, consoling the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream.
Dr. King once said that we all have to decide whether we "will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life's most persistent and nagging question, he said, is `what are you doing for others?'" he would quote Mark 9:35, the scripture in which Jesus of Nazareth tells James and John "...whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant; and whosoever among you will be the first shall be the servant of all." And when Martin talked about the end of his mortal life in one of his last sermons, on February 4, 1968 in the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church, even then he lifted up the value of service as the hallmark of a full life. "I'd like somebody to mention on that day Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life serving others," he said. "I want you to say on that day, that I did try in my life ... to love and serve humanity.
This evening of entertainment is FREE!
Presented by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission
This media release was prepared by
|This content is managed by M'Lynn Hartwell, Traverse City Human Rights Commission Special Events Chairperson and/or the Traverse City Human Rights Commission Special Events Committee membership. If you wish to visit the "official" Traverse City Government web site, click here.|