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Passed in 1994, the King Holiday and Service Act designated the King Holiday as a national day of volunteer service. Instead of a day off from work or school, Congress asked Americans of all backgrounds and ages to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy by turning community concerns into citizen action. On Monday, January 20, as part of the National King Day of Service, the staff of TrueNorth Community Services will do just that.

A public event will be held at the Fremont Area District Library, from 12:00 – 1:00 PM where light refreshments will be served as the life and spirit of Dr. King are celebrated, and attendees are welcome to bring a lunch. Click here to see the flyer with all the details. An optional service project will follow the event from 1:00 – 2:00 PM where participants will help put together energy efficiency kits for low-income households in Michigan.

At the event, there will be music and a special guest speaker brought in to share his history and insights on Dr. King and the civil rights movement. This year’s speaker will be Pastor Theo Michael Burrel. Readers who attended this event last year will remember his rousing rendition of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Pastor Burrel listened to last year’s guest speakers, local Hesperia residents, Rufus and Annie Davenport describe what is was like for them raising a family in Hesperia during the civil right movement and told organizers he had a “very different experience”

When he was a child, Burrel’s family moved from Muskegon Heights to the Orchard View Area, where they were just about only African Americans at the time. He will tell attendees about his experiences growing up an African American in a predominantly Caucasian environment, and what the civil right movement and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meant to him and his family.

This event is co-sponsored by TrueNorth Community Services and Newaygo County People for Peace, a local organization dedicated to seeking peaceful, nonviolent resolutions of conflicts within individuals, communities, and between nations. NCPP meets monthly to study, dialogue, and learn how they can best share a vision for our world that is committed to the common good and the creation of the "beloved community" that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of. There is no need to register to attend, and everyone is invited and welcome. For further details or with questions, please contact Don Williams at TrueNorth at 924-0641, ext. 125 or dwilliams@truenorthservices.org

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