Martin Luther King Jr. celebration returns to Longmont for in-person event

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From the unveiling of a new collection of photographs to artistic, musical and poetic performances, the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. will be marked by the return of an in-person event on January 17.

The Longmont celebration will take place at 10 a.m. at Silver Creek High School, 4901 Nelson Road. It is free and open to the public. The program will be hosted by the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee, the NAACP Boulder County Branch, and the Silver Creek Leadership Academy.

The high school program includes a range of events, including jazz performances, tribute dance and poetry. Keynote speaker, lawyer Rodney K. Strong, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Griffin & Strong Law Offices in Atlanta, Georgia, will address the crowd, alongside Mayor of Longmont, Joan Peck and Glenda Strong Robinson, who participated in the civil rights movement.

Rosalind Withers, the daughter of the late civil rights photographer Ernest C. Withers, who has made it her mission to share her father’s more than 1.8 million photos, will also talk about her father’s collection.

Madelyn Strong Woodley, sister of Strong Robinson and a member of the NAACP Executive Committee in Boulder County and a founding member of the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee, said she hopes people will learn through the stories shared in the images of Withers.

“If everyone can walk away with a better understanding and appreciation of our heritage and culture and they can get that from what they see in the exhibit, then we would have accomplished more than I could ever hope for.” Strong Woodley said.

Strong Woodley said one thing the committee wanted to continue this year was to involve young people in the annual celebration.

Erick Finnestead, principal of Silver Creek, said about 20 students from Silver Creek Leadership Academy will participate in the program, ranging from performance to assisting to the technical aspects of the show and directing people to their seats. The Leadership Academy is a four-year program that gives students tools to develop their leadership skills and results in the creation of a wrap-up project.

Finnestead reminded those in attendance that COVID-19 precautions will be taken. He said he looks forward to the opportunity to bring people together to remember King.

“Overall, it’s great to offer the camaraderie and experience of listening to speakers in person and having first-hand experiences with members of our community who may have been part of the rights movement. civics, as well as showcasing children’s talents. “Finnestead said.” Anytime we can get together in person it will add another level of depth to a great event. “

The Martin Luther King Day Jr. celebration is one in a series of events that will take place throughout Black History Month in February.

“I hope the public has an interest in wanting to learn, wanting to know each other and educating themselves,” Strong Woodley said. “Interest will show up by showing up. “

Other free arts, educational events

Dr. MLK Jr. Day Program: 1:30 p.m. Sunday January 16 at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St. There will be an opening reception for the Wither’s Collection. The exhibition is on view until February 27.

Black experience in art: There will be music, dancers, poets and tours of the Withers Photography Collection at 3 pm on January 29; February 12-19 at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St.

Fisk Jubilee Singers: The Grammy-winning a cappella ensemble will perform at 2 p.m. on February 27 at the Macky Auditorium Concert Hall, 1595 Pleasant St. in Boulder. The event is free, but registration is required. For more details: naacpbouldercounty.org/walk-with-me.

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