The Year to Honor and Remember

We have many interesting and lively discussions with guests during their stay at The Livingston Inn, whether at the breakfast table or at impromptu moments in the evening. There’s no shortage of perspectives and life experiences, creating a wide spectrum of ideas and opinions.

There are a couple of areas where guests almost universally share the same thoughts and feelings. One of those would be the beliefs and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago, Dr. King took his honorable place in U.S. history when he started a Civil Rights Movement to ensure equality for all Americans. His vision, courage, and determination were qualities that opened many eyes to injustice and suffering, both during the brief time he was with us and still to this day. 

wpt_1358187062As we head toward a weekend when we celebrate Dr. King, I think this year, more than ever, is an important one to recognize what he accomplished and to show support to the people and ideas which carry on his legacy. With that in mind, I’d like to highlight some of the events happening here in Madison for MLK weekend and hope, whether you are a resident or visitor, you will take the time to participate.

FS-03-07-25-65-Dr. King and Rev. AbernathyJanuary 12 – United Nations of Dane County monthly Lecture Series, Madison Central Library, 7:00pm. January’s presentation is “Remembering the Dream: Living the Vision” A Salute to the Rev. Doctor Martin Luther King” with Barbara Nichols. Ms. Nichols has extensive experience in executive leadership and international initiatives and is currently a Diversity Consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As featured in my last blog, the Madison Central Library is a great place to visit in our downtown area, making attendance at the lecture even more appealing.

January 15 – Free Community Dinner, UW-Madison Gordon Dining and Event Center, 4:30-7pm. The King Coalition welcomes all community members to the 29th annual dinner. Join more than 500 community members and enjoy a wonderful meal with friends, old and new, in Dr. King’s spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.

January 18 – 36th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration, Capitol Rotunda, 12:00 noon. This year’s celebration will highlight the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement.5690442018741.image

January 18 – 30th Annual City-County Observance, Overture Center, 5-7:30pm. The evening’s festivities start with singing in the Rotunda followed by presentations and performances in the Capitol Theater. The observance will feature the MLK Community Choir led by one of Madison’s most-noted music directors, Leotha Stanley. Mr. Stanley has amazed audiences for years with his Mt. Zion Baptist Choir and his involvement in public school music programs. The program will also feature

Earnest Green, "Little Rock Nine", Central High School, Brown v. Board of Education
Earnest Green, “Little Rock Nine”, Central High School, Brown v. Board of Education

Earnest Green, one of nine students, known as the “Little Rock Nine”, to first integrate Central High School following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

I hope you find an opportunity to take part in MLK events this upcoming weekend, whether here in Madison or your own community. Remember that one of Dr. King’s core ideas was service to the less fortunate around us which sometimes requires us to look outside of the comfort zone of the people and life experiences familiar to us. As the organizers and coalitions behind MLK day tell us, it’s not a day off. Instead, it’s a day on. As we start 2016, I hope this “day on” becomes for many of us a “year on”, not just to remember Martin Luther King but also to honor him through actions that guarantee the equality at the core of our country’s values for many generations to come.

Resources: – The March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech – August 28, 1963


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