Reston Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

Keynote address by Tamika Mallory, Co-chair, 2017 Women’s March on Washington.

The Reston community continues its long-standing tradition to commemorate the birthday and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The 2018 celebration will be the 33rd such event. It should also be noted that 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, Tenn.

“The Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration includes profound experiences for all,” said Paul Douglas Michnewicz, arts and events director, Reston Community Center. “You can participate in community service and attend celebratory concerts and arts exhibitions.”

Tamika D. Mallory, social justice activist and co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington will be this year’s featured speaker at the Reston community event. Mallory is known as an advocate for civil rights issues, equal rights for women, health care, eradicating gun violence and eliminating police misconduct.

In a recent interview, Mallory indicated she wanted to remind the Reston audience of the vital need to continue Dr. King’s fight for justice and equality; “no matter the opposition, especially in these challenging times.” She spoke passionately that Dr. King’s “legacy flows through the veins of others as we strive to live up to Dr. King’s greatness and his beliefs.”

To work for peace and equality for all, requires not only “drawing on the lessons of our past,” said Mallory. “We need to engage one another; to have honest conversations between us. The conversations are entry points that may be uncomfortable and difficult, but that are necessary.”

Open conversations “can help us acknowledge each other as we dig deeply in what can be painful honesty,” said Mallory. Such conversations can help people “see the world through the eyes of others.”

Beyond Mallory’s keynote presentation, there will be a full three-day weekend of events from Jan. 13 to 15, 2018 to celebrate Dr. King. Reston will have special performances, Community Service Projects, and the Voices of Inspiration Program sponsored by the Reston Martin Luther King, Jr. Church hosted by the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. There will also be special activities available for youth ages 6-12. The activities will be based on the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

“We must try our best to walk in Dr. King’s shadow, and to answer his call,” added Mallory. And remember that Dr. King spoke “truth to power for everyday people and for those at the margins in our midst.”

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