Several local entities in Pendleton and Hermiston invite the public to participate in celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Jan. 15.
In Pendleton, a program featuring spoken words and music takes center stage at 6:30 p.m. at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., 403 S. Main St. Coordinated by the Baha’i Community in Pendleton, the organizers invite everyone to join the musical celebration of King’s life and beliefs.
One of the fundamental principles of the Baha’i faith, said Dan Haug, is unity of mankind. He said King was an amazing individual who stood firm in addressing racial inequality.
“We’ll sing a lot of songs that most of the people know,” Haug said. “Politically, there’s a lot of divisiveness — we hope to focus on what brings us together.”
In its third year at Great Pacific, Haug is grateful that Carol Hanks and Ken Schulberg are again opening the doors to host the event. He said the neutral venue is non-threatening. Sometimes, Haug said, it’s harder to bring people in when events are held at a church.
“We’re all about music, anyway,” Schulberg said. “And especially with music that brings people together.”
Also in Pendleton, a Martin Luther King Day of Service is planned at Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 N. Main St. People ages 12-and-older are invited to help. The bulk of the activities are taking place from 10 a.m. to noon, however, additional skilled labor is needed earlier.
Service opportunities include cleaning walls and baseboards, washing windows, scrubbing tables, patching and painting walls — basically sprucing up the place. Materials and supplies will be provided. Those planning to help are encouraged to wear comfortable work clothes and close-toed shoes.
A complimentary pizza lunch will be served at noon. To ensure there’s enough food, those planning to participate are asked to RSVP via firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-278-9201.
In Hermiston, the Black International Awareness Club is heading up a Peace Walk and program to help bring awareness to the principles Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, said John Carbage, the group’s president.
“If you don’t remember our history, we are doomed to repeat it,” he said. “We don’t even want to go back to that time in history.”
The event begins with a Peace Walk at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 191 E. Gladys Ave. The short stroll will end in front of Hermiston City Hall. The gathering will include the singing of the national anthem and a short speech, Carbage said.
Then, the group will return to the church for an indoor program featuring several local pastors, as well as Rev. Robert Eadie of Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church.
In addition, Don Rome, one of the club’s original founders, will serve as the keynote speaker. Little Angels, a youth choir, also will perform. Carbage is especially encouraged when youths attend and participate, saying they are the future of our communities.
The event is the last one coordinated by the Black International Awareness Club, Carbage said, as the group is officially changing its name to the Hermiston Cultural Awareness Club. With the new moniker, he hopes the club will attract additional participants.
“We want a more broad range of members,” Carbage said. “We want to bring awareness to all cultures in our community.”
The group meets the second Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. at Starbucks, 1235 N. First St., Hermiston. People of all races and cultures are invited to attend. For more information, call Carbage at 541-701-7073.
Contact Tammy Malgesini at email@example.com or 541-564-4539.