Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of an America where people would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” We have to continuously ask ourselves, where we are on the path to realizing his (and our) dream. Black History Month was a time for everyone to learn more, get involved, and take the path less traveled to create a world where we work together with understanding, compassion, and fortitude, taking steps forward to a more unified nation.
Our efforts can't stop with a single month's celebration. There must be a continuous voice spoken and consistent actions made that permeate our daily decisions to minimize bias, stereotypes, and prejudices that complicate our ability to effectively and efficiently excel together. Plum Borough School District is taking steps to make a change, connect, and problem solve, making a difference in our District.
Celebrations and Observations
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY
More than half a century after his death, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s messages on social justice and equality remain a fundamental part of our ongoing conversations on those issues today. Dr. King was a Baptist minister and a leader of the nation’s civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. His legacy has lived on and is honored by a federal holiday observed on the third Monday in January, near the time of his January 15 birthdate.
Although his message was felt nationally, Dr King also made an impact locally. In November 1966, Dr. King addressed a large group of students, faculty and members of the Pittsburgh community at the University of Pittsburgh Student Union. The civil rights leader spoke about how non-violence is the “most potent weapon” of African Americans in the fight for equality. Seven years later, Pittsburgh Public Schools opened the doors to Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, serving Pre-K through 8th grade.
While many schools are closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there are a number of informative and educational events in Pittsburgh that will honor the legacy of the civil rights leader and offer compelling insight into his life and message of equality.
Let Freedom Sing Concert – 7 p.m. January 15
The 15th annual Let Freedom Sing concert will be live streamed from the historic Hill District and feature Chantel Braziel, Anqwenique Wingfield, Dr. Herert V.R.P. Jones, the Heritage Gospel Chorale and the MLK Festival Singers.
ACBA Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast – 9 a.m. January 17
The Allegheny County Bar Association’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, which will be virtual this year, will recognize Mayor Edward C. Gainey – Pittsburgh’s first Black Mayor – with the Drum Major for Justice Award.
Give Me Liberty – 1 p.m. January 17
The Kelly Strayhorn Theater will have family-friendly activities and performances during its “Give Me Liberty” event, which will include engaging activities and performances that will highlight the multitude of ways we can use our voices and stories to transform the world.
United Way’s Questions Before Us – 8:30 a.m. January 17
The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is inviting the public to attend its The Questions Before Us virtual forum featuring keynote speaker Dr. James Huguley, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh.
Virtual tour of National Civil Rights Museum
A virtual tour of the Nation Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, is available on the museum’s website. The museum was built around the former Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated in 1968.