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Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Brattleboro

‘Speak Out for Justice’ event at Brooks Library

BRATTLEBORO — On Saturday, Jan. 13, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro Solidarity and Brooks Memorial Library will host their third annual “Speak Out for Justice” event to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

There will be a community open mic, art, and music. Anyone is welcome to share a poem, a song, or a few words. Soup and bread will be served after the event at 5 p.m. in the community room at the library.

This event is family-friendly and free and open to all. For more information, contact

St. Michael’s Episcopal celebrates Martin Luther King Sunday

BRATTLEBORO — In recognition of the call of faith to work toward racial healing, especially at this time, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 16 Bradley Ave., once again celebrates the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream at its main Sunday service on Jan. 14 at 10:15 a.m.

The featured guest is Charles Mays Jr., who speaks out of the context of the challenges and joys of his own life about what racial healing might look like. Mays also will lead the 9 a.m. Adult Forum the same morning.

Mays was raised and nurtured in the Southern Baptist tradition of singing and piano playing. He went on to study voice, culminating in doctoral studies at the Hartt School of Music, where his dissertation topic was the Middle Passage development of the spiritual.

He has appeared as a soloist with countless choruses and orchestras, and his particular link to St. Michael’s comes through his association and friendship with Music Director Susan Dedell, with whom he has worked musically for more than 15 years.

All are welcome to attend the Forum and service. St. Michael’s is fully accessible.

Brattleboro Food Co-op marks MLK Day

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Food Co-op, 2 Main St., will hold its second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event this year on Monday, Jan. 15.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., local social justice and activist groups will be present throughout the store. The co-op is also further increasing its allotment for how many community volunteer hours Co-op owners can use towards their working shareholder discount.

For more information, call or email Ruth in Shareholder Services at 802-246-2821 or

Centre Church hosts annual MLK celebration, community event

BRATTLEBORO — On Monday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m., there will be a celebration in honor of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St.

The service will include representatives of many faith traditions, readings from King, and an update from state senator Becca Balint regarding initiatives being taken around the state and in the Legislature.

Well-known blues guitarist Scott Ainslie is the featured musician and Andy Davis will lead a community choir. The celebration will end with an encouragement by Steffen Gillom of the local NAACP and the lighting of candles by everyone in attendance.

Singers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to come to the church at 4:30 p.m., to rehearse songs for the service.

This event is sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Leadership Association and is “an opportunity for people of all ages, faiths, races, and ethnicities to come together to remember Rev. King’s work, to celebrate all that unites us and to learn about local community organizations working against racism.”

Admission is free, but a good-will donation will be taken, with proceeds shared between the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity and the Root Social Justice Center.

A community gathering to include food will follow the celebration on the lower level of the church. The Root Social Justice Center, Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, Vermont Poor People’s Campaign, Youth for Change, NAACP, People of Color Caucus, Lost River Racial Justice Group, and other local groups working for racial justice will offer information and make short presentations on how people can be involved locally to work against racism.

For more information about this event, contact Guilford Community Church at 802-257-2776.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #441 (Wednesday, January 10, 2018). This story appeared on page A4.

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