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MLK Day at Pony Village

From right: Aryana Phillips, Dylon Bessey, and Willis Homann, members of The Guild after school program, present the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles at the Monday afternoon Coos County annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Pony Village Mall on Jan. 18, 2016. The celebration included presentations, songs, an award, and a performance by The Raging Grannies.

NORTH BEND — There will be a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration from 1-3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Pony Village Mall, 1611 Virginia Ave., in North Bend. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Ga.

This year, the Human Rights Advocates of Coos County asks the community to consider this, “Are you standing for justice or ‘just us’?” Fifty years ago on April 4 in Memphis, Tenn., Dr. King was murdered (by a mentality of “just us”) because he spoke out passionately for justice and equality for all. Dr. King was a man of high resolve and firm commitment as he prayed for guidance for his words and actions. He was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi to protest non-violently and led millions in this path for real change. Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his nonviolent methods of social change.

Today, the public is invited to consider what they are doing to improve the diversity of disenfranchised communities.

"Are you being apathetic or do you not care because you feel that it doesn’t apply to you," asks Bittin Duggan of HRACC. "Are you just focusing on securing your own well-being or do you also make a stand for someone else’s rights? Human rights are everyone's rights."

Duggin asks everyone to help spread the word by reading one of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to be uploaded onto a multilingual United Nations web project: Coos County is already represented by nine recordings and HRACC plans to have all 30 read by the end of the MLK Art Exhibit on Jan. 24. The project’s goal is to raise awareness of the declaration by collecting and promoting videos of as many articles as possible in as many languages as possible.

"Come view students' artwork and read one of the articles in Suite 138 at Pony Village Mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (between AT&T and Sears) starting Saturday, Jan. 19, and continuing through Thursday, Jan. 24," Duggin said. "A HRACC member will be on site."

HRACC salutes the universal and unconditional love and nonviolence that empowered Dr. King’s spirit. The group commemorates the everlasting values Dr. King exemplified — courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity and service. Such principles radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership as he brought hope and healing to America - justice for all (not “just us”).

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration will include MLK video footage, songs and music by local artists, the presentation of the Lilah Bidwell Human Dignity Award to Carl Siminow, new color prints on display and presentation of the 30 human rights.

For more information, contact Duggan at 541-217-4095 or

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