SOMERVILLE – Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, the Somerville Office of Commissions and the Somerville Public Schools announce the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration event, entitled, “The Dream: Equality for All,” to be held on Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of national Martin Luther King Day. The 2014 event will be held at the East Somerville Community School auditorium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will include a keynote speech by Dr. Adenrele Awotona, Professor of Urban and Community Studies at UMass Boston, as well as live music, readings from Somerville student essays in response to the 2014 theme “Equality for All,” and an award presentation to community members who exemplify MLK’s legacy in the Somerville community. The event is free and open to the public.
Additionally, the American Red Cross will join the City of Somerville and MLK Jr. Day Committee for the second annual “Day of Service” and blood drive at the East Somerville Community School. The American Red Cross mobile unit will be stationed outside of the school from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To make an appointment, please call 1-800-733-RED-CROSS, or visit redcrossblood.org. Attendees are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the event’s Food Drive for local food pantries as part of the Day of Service.
The day’s events will include live performances by El Sistema Somerville, the Somerville High School Dance Team, and Interfaith Pick Up Choir. Pizza and refreshments will be served following the event.
The 2014 featured speaker, Dr. Awotona, is the Director of the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters and a Professor of Urban and Community Studies at UMass Boston. He is a former dean of the College of Public and Community Service at UMass. Dr. Awotona earned his doctorate degree from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and holds numerous other higher education certificates from colleges and universities including Cornell University and Harvard University. He currently serves as Graduate Program Director of the Global Post-Disaster Studies: Reconstruction with Vulnerable Populations Graduate Certificate Program, the Director of the Global Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Management Certificate Program, and the Director of the CRSCAD Summer Institute in China.
The event is organized in cooperation with the City of Somerville Health Department, Somerville Public Schools, the Somerville Human Rights Commission, the Community Action Agency of Somerville, The Welcome Project, the Somerville Commission for Women, the Somerville Fair Housing Commission, the Somerville Commission for People with Disabilities, and Elizabeth Peabody House.
Special thanks to the Somerville Public Schools and Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union for their support and sponsorship of the 2014 event.
For more information, please contact Director of the Office of Somerville Commissions Sonja Darai at 617-625-6600 ext 2406, or SDarai@somervillema.gov.