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MLK Week Archive

Dr. King in front of a red background with text of a speech; the headline reads Now is the Time! MLK Every Day.

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from "Letter From Birmingham Jail"

“If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from “Keep Moving from This Mountain”

2021 MLK Week

2021 Committee

Chairs

Mike Nadolski
LMC

Grace Kelmer
LMC

Members

Christina Arseneau
Niles History Center

Bryan Bacon
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Niles

Jeremy D. Bonfiglio
LMC

Emanuel Brown
African American History and Literature Gallery

Sharon Brown
African American History and Literature Gallery

Gladys Burks
Race Relations Council

Traci Burton
Community Influencer

Barbara Craig
LMC  

Heather Cole
United Way

Candice Elders
LMC

Larry Feldman
Race Relations Council

Sandy Feldman
Race Relations Council  

Julia Gourley
Krasl Art Center

Dawn Howley
United Way

Jacquie Johnson
LMC / Race Relations Council

Kyna Johnson
Niles Educator/Consultant

Nathan Margoni
Krasl Art Center

Emily McKenna
Krasl Art Center

Pam McVay
LMC  

Jen O’Flynn
LMC  

Barbara Peeples
Race Relations Council

Patricia Plaut-Payne
LMC

Jerry Price
Spectrum Health Lakeland

Debbie Ramirez
United Way

Eleanor Reece
Whirlpool Corporation

Charmae Sanders
LMC/Race Relations Council

Rosa Skinner
Whirlpool Corporation

Stephanie Steele
LMC

Rebecca Steffen
LMC

Ann Steward
LMC

Stefanie R Harvey-Vandenberg
Whirlpool Corporation

Andrea Zick
LMC

Kris Zook
LMC

Presenting Sponsors

Lake Michigan College
Whirlpool Corporation

Supporting Sponsors

Kinexus Group
Horizon Bank logo.
United Way Southwest Michigan

 

Artistic Reflections

Artists around the community were encouraged to submit their creative reflections on Dr. King’s "Letter From Birmingham Jail" or our central theme of “Now Is the Time.”

Browse the 2021 submissions.

Submit your own Artistic Reflection using this form.

Kickoff Recording

 

Tekeidra Masters Keynote

(Excerpt from Kickoff recording, above.)

 

Welcome from the Mayors of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph

(Excerpt from Kickoff recording, above.)

 

Spirit of MLK Spotlights: Lynn Todman

(Excerpt from Kickoff recording, above.)

 

Spirit of MLK Spotlights: Race Relations Council

(Excerpt from Kickoff recording, above.)

 

Spirit of MLK Spotlights: Jada Willis

(Excerpt from Kickoff recording, above.)

 

Juneteenth Preview

(Excerpt from Kickoff recording, above.)

 

Letter From Birmingham Jail read by Pastor Albert Adams

This year’s community-wide MLK Celebration theme is “Now is the time!” These are words Dr. King exclaimed in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” written in 1963 while serving time in solitary confinement for leading a Good Friday protest as part of the Birmingham Campaign. It was Dr. King’s 13th arrest. He originally wrote the more than 7,000-word letter, in part, in the margins of a newspaper smuggled in to him by a friend. The newspaper contained a letter, written by eight local Christian and Jewish religious leaders, critical of the demonstrations and Dr. King. Remarkably, Dr. King wrote this letter without the benefit of any notes or the ability to research.

Read more historical context about “Letter from Birmingham Jail."

This reading of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is presented by Pastor Albert Adams, The Church in Benton Harbor.

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