2008 is the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.
Unity Movement organizers and coordinators pay tribute to Dr. King and his spiritual predecessor, Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi, whose messages of committed nonviolent action in pursuit of social justice are an inspiration to us all.
All members of the community, of all nationalities, cultural backgrounds, religions, and occupations are invited to join us in sustaining the principles and ideals of the Unity March by participating in a Day of Service on Sunday, January 20, 2008, and joining in the commemorative activities organized by the African-American Cultural Preservation Committee in honor of Martin Luther King Day on January 21, 2008.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King: “Make it a Day ON, Not a Day Off!”
The national organization mlkday.org, notes Dr. King “sought to forge the common ground on which people from all walks of life could join together to address important community issues.” This is the guiding principle and foundation of the Unity Movement.
This year, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, there is a national initiative, “40 Days of Nonviolence: Building the Beloved Community,” commencing with the King Day of Service. The Unity Movement joins this initiative, and will kick off 40 days of planning and participation in service projects and educational activities promoting Dr. King’s message of nonviolence and social justice, with a clean-up at American Memorial Park on Sunday, January 20, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The clean-up will be in preparation for Martin Luther King Day and to enhance the enjoyment of the park by the public for weeks to come. On Monday, January 21, 2008, the Unity Movement encourages participation by all in the Martin Luther King Day events. In particular, workers, supporters, and all members of the community are urged to join the commemorative mini-march and the subsequent keynote program at the American Memorial Park amphitheater.
March orientation and assembly begins at 2:30 p.m. at the American Memorial Park parking area, followed immediately at 3:00 p.m. by the mini-march. The keynote program follows at 4:30 p.m. at the American Memorial Park amphitheater and features Dr. Kathryn Takara of the University of Hawai’i. Join us to reaffirm our commitment to Dr. King’s ideals of non-violence, equality, and justice for all.
American Memorial Park Clean Up
9 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Monday, January 21, 2008, Martin Luther King Day
2:30 p.m. – March Orientation and Assembly
American Memorial Park parking area.
3:00 p.m. – Mini-March
4:30 p.m. – Keynote Program
Amphitheater, American Memorial Park
Many other activities are planned by the African-American Cultural Preservation Committee, as reported on page 12 of the Marianas Variety for Friday, January 18, 2008; on page 5 of the Saipan Tribune for Saturday, January 19, 2008; and nicely presented online on Unheard No More.
One that may be of especial interest to readers of this blog is the afternoon forum, "Why and how the tenets of the civil rights struggle personified by Dr. King are pertinent here in the Mariana Islands." The forum will be held in the AMP Visitor's Center from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Featured panelists include Senator Maria "Frica" T. Pangelinan, Representative Christina "Tina" Sablan, Dr. Kathryn Takara, Professor, Ethnic Studies, University of Hawai'i, and Representative Edward T. Salas.
Supporting organizations for the Unity Movement include Dekada, the Human Dignity Act Movement, Pilcowa, MOVER, and others.
For more information about these activities, please text or call Boni Sagana at 484-0507, Jerry Custodio at 285-5137, Ed Probst at 483-7361, or Steve Woodruff at 235-3872.