1963: Martin Luther King Jr.

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. (AP Photo/File)

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday this year, the Human Rights Advocates of Coos County is exhibiting students' artwork, honoring a community member with the Lilah Bidwell Human Dignity Award and promoting virtual MLK events.

Inspired by this years’ theme of the King Center: “IT STARTS WITH ME: shifting priorities to create the beloved community,” The HRACC will award the 2022 Lilah Bidwell Human Dignity Award to someone who was a part of Lilah’s beloved community at Marshfield High School for over 10 years. Pam Connelly is not only a fourth generation resident of Coos Bay, she is an effective advocate for addiction recovery, support for families and educator for students, professionals and others around overdose prevention. The HRACC will honor her at a private ceremony this year due to pandemic constraints. Community members can honor her by making donations to Need4Narcan through their FB page.

The annual student art exhibit in the Pony Village Mall hallway (wear a mask at all times) will feature artwork made by Coos County students inspired by MLK’s legacy of peace and non-violence. Virtual links at https://www.facebook.com/humanrightsadvocatesofcooscounty showcase events, authors, youth book readings and more.

As the momentum of individual and collective social justice actions for humanity and the environment continue to gain traction in the world, explore the virtual celebrations to appreciate how Dr. King’s legacy inspires people across our county in incredible ways.

Virtual Events begin on Friday, Jan. 7, and end on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

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