FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2010
Office of College Communications
WENHAM, MA—When he was alive, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired the nation with his unrelenting vision for racial equality, unity and non-violence. Forty-one years after his death, he continues to bring people together to recognize the critical work of racial justice and community building.
Gordon College is honored each January to acknowledge Dr. King’s vision by joining with neighbors across the North Shore to commemorate his national holiday. On Monday, January 18 from 9–10:30 a.m. representatives from Gordon’s community—including President R. Judson Carlberg, Provost Mark Sargent and Creative Director Tim Ferguson Sauder, who oversees public relations materials for the event—will join some 400 others in the 24th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration breakfast in Lynn, Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Community Minority Cultural Center (CMCC) and hosted by North Shore Community College, the program will feature speeches from various community leaders as well as music, poetry and essays from young people who participate in several Lynn organizations.
Newly-elected mayor Judith Flanagan-Kennedy, Congressman John F. Tierney, State Senator Thomas McGee, Representatives Steven Walsh and Robert Fennel will also attend the event along with representatives from many Lynn churches, non-profits, and the police and fire departments.
“For 35 years the CMCC has lived out the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by fighting injustice and racial oppression as well as providing essential community and social services,” said Valerie Buchanan, chair of the event’s planning committee and director of Gordon’s Office of Community Engagement as well as the Gordon in Lynn campus. “It’s a privilege for us to join our Lynn neighbors in celebrating Dr. King’s life and work and to recommit ourselves to the vision of an America free of racial discrimination and inequality.”
For the past seven years, the Gordon in Lynn campus—which partners with CMCC and almost two dozen other non-profits—has provided hundreds of students opportunities to learn from and engage with community organizations, schools and social service agencies, while actively participating in the process of realizing their vision for the city. Gordon named its Lynn residence hall after Virginia Barton, a community activist who championed civil rights and co-founded the Community Minority Cultural Center in 1975, a non-profit resource for all those working toward the prosperity of Lynn through economic and social justice.
“Our goal has always been to strengthen, connect and foster respect for Lynn's diverse communities through advocacy, education and cultural enrichment,” said Steven Godfrey, CMCC’s executive director. “Our partnership with Gordon has been exciting in working toward that goal.”
Because Dr. King’s philosophy included a strong emphasis on the value of the human person, racial and ethnic reconciliation and non-violent collaboration, this year’s celebration breakfast explores works by Lynn youth which focus on three themes: “Me—Look Within”; “Us—Build Unity”; and “One—Work Together.”
“While his belief in human dignity and freedom was grounded in Christian faith, Dr. King was able to work with those of other faiths or no faith out of his profound love and respect for each individual,” said Buchanan. “But he also saw the value of each individual person as intricately tied to others. The struggle for racial reconciliation is something we all share and the fruits of building unity benefit the whole community.”
For more information on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration in Lynn call the CMCC at 781.477.1800. For information on the Gordon in Lynn program, please call 781.599.0821?or e-mail lynngordon.edu.