8th annual event is free & open to the public
On January 15th, Simsbury will once again commemorate renowned civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by holding a special program at First Church of Christ at 2:00 p.m.
This ceremony will celebrate Dr. King’s life and particularly his time in Simsbury during the summers of 1944 and 1947, and in observance of the federal holiday marking his birthday.
Dr. King’s profound life achievements were influenced by his two summers spent in Simsbury. His writings strongly suggest that his call to ministry crystallized during his time spent with a group of Morehouse College students, earning money for their education by working at the Culbro Tobacco Farm in town.
The 2017 keynote speaker will be Miyan Zahir Muhammad Mannan, who will speak on the topic of “Love for All, Hatred for None”. Zahir serves the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Meriden at the Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque. Professionally, he is the Internship Director and Head Teacher at the Early Learning Program, Inc. at CCSU. Zahir frequently publishes and speaks both locally and nationally on theology, human rights, peace and justice with a goal to dispel ignorance about religion and unite fellow Americans in divisive times. Zahir served as a voluntary Chaplain at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury in 2016 where he spent hours with Ted Hakey Jr. who served his sentence there for shooting at Zahir’s own Mosque.
The theme of his speech will be Love for all, Hatred for None.
“We are delighted to continue to honor Dr. King in a meaningful way annually, celebrating his life, legacy and deep connection to Simsbury. We are happy to partner with First Church, the Simsbury Historical Society and the Simsbury Public Schools’ Music & Performing Arts Department (under the incredible direction of Angela Griffin) on this initiative. This event has become a treasured Simsbury tradition and gets bigger and better every year. We are very excited about this year’s program,” said State Representative John K. Hampton, Chairman of the MLK in Simsbury Celebration Committee.
Highlights of the ceremony will be readings from Dr. King’s speeches and other musical performances by The Henry James Memorial School Select Choir (Jason Stammen, Choral Director) and the Simsbury Intonations Chorus (Greg Babel, Director).
There will also be a presentation by representatives from the Martin Luther King, Jr. in Connecticut Memorial Project, a student led local project dedicated to creating a permanent memorial in Simsbury of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the impact that his time in Simsbury had on his life.
The public is encouraged to attend the ceremony and honor the spirit behind this day which is FREE.