THE COLOR AND COST OF JUSTICE:
50 YEARS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Please join us in honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. as we examine the intersections of race, class and justice fifty years after his untimely death in 1968.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, the day after delivering his iconic sermon, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” given in support of the striking sanitation workers in Memphis. He died in the midst of making plans for the Poor People’s Campaign and a march on Washington that would confront the disparity of wealth in the United States. Dr. King often spoke about unjust economic conditions issuing an Economic Bill of Rights as an essential component of the campaign.
The march did take place and the Poor People’s Campaign has been credited with helping to make policy changes throughout the country. It ignited a national discourse on poverty that brought disenfranchised populations together in the fight for housing; livable wages; jobs; access to health care; and a fair justice system.
This year, our holiday observance will include an interfaith service and the continuation of the annual MLK Holiday Celebration first held 37 years ago by the NAACP Portland Branch. Support for this year’s events include First Parish Portland, NAACP branches in Maine and an array of civil rights and social justice groups. The goal is to transform this event into one that is shared, organized, supported and beneficial to the community of racial justice activism in Maine. This year’s profits will go to support the Martin Luther King Jr. Fellows Program whose mission is to develop the voice and leadership of young people of color in their efforts to help dismantle systemic racism in Maine.
The schedule for the observance is as follows:
First Parish Portland, a Unitarian Universalist Church, will host an interfaith service in honor of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The church is located at 425 Congress Street. All are welcome! For more information, please call (207) 773-5747.
The Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland will once again serve as the site to bring hundreds of people from across the state together to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., making it one of the largest and most diverse events held throughout the year. The extraordinary Kenya Hall will sing selections during the program along with live music representing the global sounds of local musicians. Featured speakers include Marc Mauer, executive director, The Sentencing Project and Andrea James, founding executive director, The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. This is a ticketed program through Eventbrite that includes a short cocktail reception with cash bar beginning at 5:00 p.m. followed by the dinner program at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please call (207) 553-5851.
Please note that no tickets will be sold at the door for this program.
We hope that you will consider joining us for this special observance as we kick off the beginning efforts of a shared and collectively organized annual event to honor Dr. King’s beloved community and work that centers the civil rights and human dignity of all in Maine.
“Please note that while this is a fundraiser to support racial justice efforts and the development of youth voice and leadership in our community, as tradition, a limited amount of complimentary and subsidized tickets will be made available to those who express interest on a first-come first-serve basis. It is critically important that we leave no one behind in building Dr. King’s beloved community.”