MANCHESTER — A panel discussion that focuses on the Poor People’s Campaign will headline this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Celebration in the city, organizers announced.
The event, which is in its 38th year, will be held at Temple Adath Yeshurun in the city’s North End on Monday, Jan. 20.
The event features a guest speaker most years. This year, the speaker’s post will comprise a panel that will examine poverty, racism, militarism and environmental devastation, as highlighted by the Poor People’s Campaign.
“Fifty-one years ago, under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Poor People’s Campaign called for a revolution of values in America, and invited people to stand together against militarism, racism and economic injustice,” said the Rev. Jason Wells of the New Hampshire Council of Churches. “Drawing on history and our understanding of the challenges we face today, the Poor People’s Campaign has been renewed in 39 states, including this one.”
The panel will be chaired by state Sen. Melanie Levesque, and will also feature Dr. Debbie Opramolla of the New Hampshire Poor People’s Campaign; Will Hopkins, executive director of New Hampshire Peace Action; and Rep. Wendy Thomas of Merrimack, who has been active in efforts to safeguard water supplies.
The 2020 Martin Luther King Award will go to Brenda Bailey Lett, a longtime Manchester activist who has organized workshops on undoing racism and reparations for people of African descent.
Manny Content will receive the Vanessa Johnson Award in recognition of his support for local nonprofits, especially those that support local youth.
The Manchester West High School Jazz Band will perform during a social hour that starts at 2 p.m. The program will begin at 3 p.m.