Derry activist honored as 2016 MLK award recipient

January 09. 2016 10:10PM

MANCHESTER — Paul Doolittle, a community activist from Derry, is this year's recipient of the Martin Luther King Award.

The award will be presented at the 34th annual Martin Luther King Day Community Celebration to be held Monday, Jan. 18, at Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. The event begins at 2 p.m. with a potluck meal and social hour, followed by the program at 3 p.m.

Eric Zulaski, who chairs the Martin Luther King Coalition that sponsors the annual celebration, said Doolittle has offered the use of his farm for members of the state's Bhutanese community to grow vegetables.

“He has helped with tools, training, transportation, even helping them find places to hold meetings,” Zulaski said.

The Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire will also receive a special award in honor of its work on behalf of families who were forced out of their homes and have made new lives here in New Hampshire.

“At a time when the numbers of refugees from armed violence is at an all-time high, we see a connection between the spirit of Dr. King and those people who counter violence with acts of love and compassion,” said Zulaski.

This year's guest speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Arthur Hilson, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Portsmouth. He received the MLK Award in 2000.

Russell and Jackie Weatherspoon of Exeter will be emcees, and Gov. Maggie Hassan will lead the annual “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony.

The celebration also will feature the Manchester High School Central jazz band and presentation of awards to middle school students who entered an arts and writing contest.

Admission is free and open to all. For more, visit:

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