To the editor:
Northfield’s tradition of a double celebration to honor the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., continues this year with a program at Arcadia Charter School at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, and a second one sponsored by Northfield Human Rights Commission at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at St. Dominic Church. Both are open to all interested persons.
The Friday program by the students at Arcadia and members of the community reflect the message and accomplishments of Dr. King. Responses in visual arts, speeches and music indicate “Arts for Martin.” Be alert to invitations to community members to join in the chorus.
Sharif Keita is the featured speaker on the life of John Dube, a precurser in Africa to Dr. King and Nelson Mandela.
“Creating a Beloved Community” — a central focus of King’s legacy — is the theme of Monday’s community event. Recognizing the Beloved Community is the framework for the future, our Human Rights Commission has chosen to emphasize the role of Northfield youth.
“Northfield is a community composed of a wide variety of people. Each one is important and valuable; each has her or his own contributions to make and needs and desires to be respected and supported,” says Corinne Smith, chair of the Commission. “The most important and vital part of our community is the youth. They provide us energy and a pathway and guide to the future,” she asserts.
During this Martin Luther King, Jr., day event, the focus will be on a few youth groups within our community. "These young people will share with us what community means to them and what they are hoping for in our community.”
Providing them a community in which they can grow and thrive is the role of the Commission, all citizens and citizen groups. “We do this, as with all persons, by building relationships in which we strive to know and understand them as full people,” Smith adds.
This echoes the goal expressed by the MLK Center in Atlanta of a reconciled world where relationships are so healthy that justice prevails, and all persons can attain their full human potential.
Creating such a community asks for positive action on the part of every citizen and in turn benefits each of us.
Plan to attend both celebrations if you can.