The Town of Needham is .
The town's event is Monday morning, 10 a.m. on Jan 21, at Needham High School, with refreshments served at 9:15 a.m.
Keynote speaker Rev. Debora Jackson is on the program alongside musical performances by several children and youth groups, according to a press release from the Needham Human Rights committee. Running the show as emcee is WCVB-TV news anchor Jim Boyd.
The group has also put together a Town of Needham MLK Day Celebration Facebook page, to keep residents apprised of updates and changes.
At last year's celebration, Dr. Abdul Asmal, a longtime Needham resident and director of the Islamic Center of Boston, said in his keynote he had emigrated to the United States from South Africa to escape the oppression of apartheid and felt that “Needham was and is a haven for strangers.”
To commemorate the work of Dr. King, supporters moved to declare Jan. 15 (King’s birthday) a federal holiday, beginning with Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Infoplease reports. President Ronald Regan eventually signed the King Holiday Bill in 1983, declaring a holiday on the third Monday of January. The day did not instantly become a holiday in all states, but Massachusetts was among the first in the nation to pass its own bill, enacting a holiday in the 1970s, according to Time Magazine.
This year, the presidential inauguration also falls on MLK Day.
For more information, visit the 2013 Needham MLK Day Celebration page on Facebook.
Below is a press release from the Needham Human Rights Committee:
2013 Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration in Needham - Bring the Dream to Needham's Children
The Town of Needham has organized a joyous, inclusive, and befitting celebration to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.. The event will be held at the Needham High School Auditorium on Monday January 21, program at 10 AM, refreshments at 9:15 AM. The event will serve as an occasion for both honoring Dr. King’s life and an opportunity for reflection for the Town of Needham. This gathering will mark the third year that the Human Rights Committee, Needham Clergy Association––which counts almost all of Needham’s religious communities as members––and the METCO program of Needham Public Schools have collaborated to present this program. The organizers are hopeful this event will catalyze our community to become more welcoming of diversity.
The theme and focus of this year's celebration will be children. In light of this year’s theme, there will be musical performances by several children and youth groups. Jim Boyd, a long-time resident of Needham and WCVB-TV news anchor, will emcee the event. Reverend Debora Jackson, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Needham, will present the keynote address.
Needham citizens who represent different voices, varied experiences, and diverse perspectives are wholeheartedly encouraged to join in our effort to increase equity, unity, and understanding in the town of Needham.
We welcome all members of the community to attend and look forward to seeing you there!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday January 21, 2013
Program will begin at 10:00 AM sharp
Refreshments will be served, starting at 9:15 AM