Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast
Maine and the nation marked the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Junior Day as a federal holiday.Dr. king would have turned 82 this year.At the University of Maine in Orono, his birthday was celebrated with a breakfast.As Joy Hollowell tells us, the event paid homage to King’s legacy and proved that his life lessons continue to inspire.=====”It’s a coming together of love and fellowship,” says George Mathis, acting president of the Greater Bangor Area NAACP, describing the purpose of Monday’s breakfast. “To let everyone know that there is still a struggle going on, but we are going to do whatever we can, to the best of our ability, with love and understanding and using a little intelligence about doing this.”For the 15th year, the Greater Bangor Area of the NAACP joined forces with the University of Maine to celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. The message this year-discrimination isn’t just a black and white issue.Penobscot Indian Nation Chief Kirk Francis talked about the struggles of his and other tribes in Maine. “But there is good news,” said Francis. “Through exercise and self-determination, we’re continuing to overcome and our communities are full of extraordinary people that are committed to carrying on the work and message of Dr. King.”The NAACP invited the leader of the nation’s largest Islamic Center to be this year’s keynote speaker.Imam Johari Abdul-Malik called Dr. King a critical life.”Martin Luther King, Junior- if he was born in an era where there wasn’t anything critical going on, we probably would have never heard about him,” said Abdul-Malik. “It was out of those critical times that Martin Luther King brought to that discourse something to challenge racism, hatred and bigotry.”He then issued a challenge.”Martin Luther King saw a vision, a vision that was drawn out of scripture, a vision of a beloved community. I am calling on you today. If you have an ounce of love in your heart, that you will embrace that vision. Can you do it?”=======Congressman Mike Michaud, House Minority Leader Emily Cain and a representative from Senator Olympia Snowe’s office also spoke at the breakfast. A letter was read by Senator Susan Collins.Pastor Elaine Hewes of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bangor gave the Invocation, and Father William Labbe of the Newman Center in Orono gave the Benediction.Singers from Renaissance, a group at the University of Maine performed, as well as Destiny Worship Choir from Brewer.