For the 27th year, Emma Amiad will host an evening program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.
The program is always on King’s true birthday, and this year that coincides with the holiday; the event will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at the Methodist church.
This year’s program will feature island youth reading from King’s the letters and speeches, specifically some of the lesser-known works, and speaking about what the passages mean to them and how the writing is relevant in the world today.
Amiad noted that his message is still timely.
“A lot of what he had to say sounds like somebody could have said it yesterday,” she said.
Amiad, too, will address the crowd, she said, adding that while it might not feel like it in the current political climate, a lot of change has occurred in her lifetime.
“There are three steps forward and two steps back. It is easy to discount that one step forward,” she said. Previously, Amiad has hosted the events on her own, but this year she has assistance from Betsey Archambault of DOVE. Archambault organized the student speaker effort, which at press time included about 10 teens.
In addition to those speakers, she said the Teen Council might make an appearance after lobbying in Olympia and that there would be youth art as well.
Tara Brenno, art teacher at Chautauqua, has been instrumental in getting students involved.
“I think it’s important to provide opportunities for children to look outside of themselves to the world around them and how they can help,” she said.
Chautauqua students in all grades are taking a time to think and write about how they can contribute to making the world a better, kinder place. In art, fourth-graders made mono prints to display with the writing for the King event.
A Peace Dove Com-munity Collaborative Art Project will also be on display. It is a large stencil of a dove that will hang on the wall on top of a piece of paper. Each person at the event may put their fingerprint inside of the dove.
The idea is for the diverse colors of the fingerprints to work in harmony with one another to create a visual picture that is a reminder of King’s ideas and dreams, Archambault said.
“This activity shows that we are all part of the big picture and when we work together, we can do great things,” she added.
Carpe Diem students will also participate and have created a mural of King.
“As a school that values accountability, integrity and compassion, supporting the celebration of Martin Luther King’s achievements is central to our mission and to our daily efforts to achieve our personal best,” Head of School Mark McGough said.
As always, birthday cake will be served following the program.
— Susan Riemer