A number of events will be held around Albuquerque and the rest of the state today as people pay homage to slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday in January. King’s actual birthday is Jan. 15.
MLK events today include:
• The 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Breakfast, sponsored by the Grant Chapel AME Church, begins at 8 a.m. at the Marriott Pyramid North Hotel, 5151 San Francisco NE. The breakfast is sold-out, but the public is invited to sit in on the address from keynote speaker, the Rev. Clement W. Fugh, presiding bishop of the AME Church, 5th District, who will speak on “Keeping the Dream Alive: A Day On, Not a Day Off,” and King’s work toward creating a fair and inclusive society.
• The annual MLK Luncheon, hosted by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of New Mexico, will be at noon in the cafeteria of Rio Rancho High School, 301 Loma Colorado NE, in Rio Rancho. Keynote speaker Lee Patrick Brown, regarded as the father of community policing and the first African-American mayor of Houston, will talk about King’s life and the role of community policing as a nonviolent tool to solve community problems.
• The 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Celebration will begin at 1 p.m. at Congregation Albert, 3800 Louisiana NE.
It is sponsored by the MLK Multicultural Council, which this year will award 29 high school students $1,000 scholarships. A complete list of recipients and their photos appear on the Journal’s Education page today. The program will feature music and dance performances and poetry readings. The MLK Council will also announce the winners of this year’s “Keep the Dream Alive” awards, presented to individuals or organizations that have contributed to volunteer work and other activities. The featured speaker will be Stephen Lewis Fuchs, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, Conn., former president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and recipient of the 2011 Unlimited Love Humanitarian Award from the Bethel AME Church in Bloomfield, Conn. He will talk about what it means to keep King’s dream alive.
• The NAACP of Santa Fe and the state MLK Commission will present a noon program today in the Capitol rotunda in Santa Fe. The keynote speaker will be Natasha Howard, UNM professor of Africana Studies, who will speak on “Walking the Path of Our Hearts,” as well as the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement. There will also be a traditional African “call of the drums.”
For further details about these and other events, call the MLK State Commission at 222-6465 or go to www.nmmlksc.org.