On Monday, January 20, 2020, the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day with multiple events including the 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance at Columbia High School.
This year’s theme was The Power of One and the program featured youth voices reflecting—through spoken word, dance, poetry and music—on the power of individuals to transform the community and world by counteracting bigotry, hate, and violence in the face of rising white nationalism. The observance with a symbolic lighting of luminaries as a demonstration of peace and solidarity with Dr. King’s vision.
Said Coalition Executive Director Nancy Gagnier, “I’ve had the privilege of working with students here for over 20 years. I can tell you that our students are fierce in thought and action when it comes to racial and economic justice.” She added, “We have the duty of care to educate and guide, but sometimes we need to get out of their way and let them take us on paths we never imagined.”
Video by Joy Yagid.