Senior Center, City hosts 17th annual MLK events

Articles contributed by Joe Scott, executive director-Ecumenical Senior Center; Alfrelynn, City of Kalamazoo; photo of March event 2010 by Sonya Hollins, editor-Community Voices; photo of Dr. Oyelaran by Aaron Cantrell


Anna Whitten of KVCC's Whitten Hall, stands with Cong. Fred Upton (R) during the 2010 march to MLK Park.

KALAMAZOO (MICH)-What are you going to do to honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? What are you doing to serve others? Various nonprofits, colleges and universities, businesses and City officials have banned together to provide an array of activities and events that will honor King’s legacy of Peace.

Events include:

Thursday, Jan. 13
•Kalamazoo County Bar Association []
Free Legal Clinic
Kalamazoo Public Library (315 S. Rose Street)
6-8 pm
Registration Required – Contact 553-7920

Friday, Jan. 14

• MLK Chapel Service, 11 a.m., Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College.

•Kalamazoo County Bar Association
Free Legal Clinic
Kalamazoo Public Library (315 S. Rose Street)
Registration Required – Contact 553-7920

Saturday, Jan. 15

• WMU Celebration and Public School Students Visitation, registration at 9 a.m., East Ballroom, Bernhard Center, WMU. Featured speakers are Juan Pacheco, a motivational speaker with Barrios Unidos, and Basheer Jones, a talk show host with Basheer Jones and Company.

Sunday, January 16:

•The Northside Ministerial Alliance will celebrate its 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, a community-wide event, in partnership with Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and the City of Kalamazoo. The event will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16, at the Howard Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. in  Kalamazoo.

The theme, “Our Hope: Strengthening Families” will be presented with a keynote address by Dr. Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, President of Kalamazoo College and will feature a community children/youth choir. Rev. Denise Posey, president of the Northside Ministrial Alliances, is asking for 100 men to attend the event along with their families

For more information regarding the event or rehearsal for the youth choir, call the Northside Ministerial Alliance office at 269-270-1535.

Monday, January 17:

Sustaining the Legacy: The public is invited to join the seniors of the Ecumenical Senior Center for their 17th annual MLK recognition event which begins at 9:30 a.m.

In 1994, the ESC organized Kalamazoo’s first march and wreath-laying ceremony at MLK Jr. Park. This year will mark the 17th such event as participants attend an event at the Ecumenical Senior Center 702 N. Burdick St., and walk to the MLK Park on Rose Street for a final community celebration.

To attend, please RSVP by January 12 by calling 269-381-9750 or email: ecumenicalsc@yahoo.comTo view an entertaining and informative e-book of the program schedule, please click: on

First United Methodist Church Kalamazoo []
Community Food Drive benefiting Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes
First UMC Kalamazoo (212 South Park Street)
Volunteers and community members are encouraged to donate can goods in honor of the humanitarian efforts of Dr. King
Contact: Joe Konrad, 381-6340,

Community- Wide Day of Service:  8 a.m., City Hall. The City of Kalamazoo, Fifth Third Bank and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation in cooperation with Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University and Northside Ministerial Alliance alongside other community partners, Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Bar Association, Ecumenical Senior Center and First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo are partnering with local businesses, educational institutions and social service organizations to answer that question by honoring Dr. King’s legacy with meaningful community service opportunities for citizens of Kalamazoo County.

As preparations for the 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community-Wide Day of Service event take shape, please consider participating in volunteer opportunities on Dr. King’s holiday observed, Monday, January 17, 2011. Those interested should meet at 8 a.m., at City Hall, 241 W. South St. Volunteer opportunities available at local service organizations.If you are interested in participating, please complete the volunteer form online, or download and return to the address listed on the form by Thursday, January 13.  Please contact Alfrelynn Roberts, 337-8047.

MLK Convocation Service: 10:50 a.m. Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College. Featured speaker will be Dr. Geneva J. Williams, president and CEO, City Connect Detroit.

City of Kalamazoo Poster Making Party for MLK March, 2:30pm @ WMU Bernhard Center
Students are encouraged to come early and make posters and signs prior to the march.

March to MLK Park starting at 3:30 p.m. outside WMU’s Kanley Chapel, to the corner of Thompson and Academy streets at 4 p.m., to the corner of Rose Street and West Michigan Avenue at 4:30 p.m., to MLK Park.

• Young Black Males Support Network Forum, 6 p.m., East Ballroom, WMU Bernhard Center. Featured speaker will be Tim Wise, antiracist, essayist, author and educator.

Dialogue Circles, 7:30 p.m., Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo, 2101 Wilbur Ave. Discussion and reflections of MLK followed by a brief summary lecture. Food provided.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

Kalamazoo County Bar Association, Free Legal Clinic; Eastside Neighborhood Association (1301 E. Main Street)
6-8 pm

Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran will present keynote address during MLK event.

Wednesday, Jan. 19

Teaching About Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, 4 to 5:30 p.m., 1028 Brown Hall, WMU. Workshop for teachers and aspiring teachers on how the causes that Martin Luther King stood for are still pertinent today.

Minorities in Business, 7 to 9 p.m., Multicultural Room, WMU Trimpe Building. Workshop and seminar providing students of color a look at the business world and tips on how to get ahead, including interviewing and résumé skills.
Kalamazoo County Bar Association– Free Legal Clinic; Douglass Community Association (1000 W. Paterson Street) 6-8 pm

MLK and Vietnam: War as an Enemy of the Poor, 7:30 p.m., Room 210 WMU Bernhard Center. Lecture and readings analyze MLK’s position on the war.

• Cultural Bridges to Equality: LGBT Awareness, 9 p.m., WMU Bernhard Center Faculty Lounge. Open forum and casual discussion on LGBT discrimination, acceptance and equality.

Thursday, Jan. 20

Whose Dreams? Cultural Narratives in Thomas Dixon’s “The Clansman,” Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” and Alice Randall’s “The Wind Done Gone,” 2 to 4 p.m., Brown and Gold Room, WMU Bernhard Center. Panel discussion to provide background for book circle.

Saturday, Jan. 22

Fresh Fire AME Church [269-381-8050]-Community Blood Drive; Fresh Fire AME Church (2508 Gull Road) 10:30am-4:30pm

Monday, Jan. 24

Kalamazoo County Bar Association– Free Legal Clinic; Portage Community Center (325 E. Centre Street) 6-8 pm

Thursday, Feb. 17

Book Circle, 2 to 4 p.m., WMU Writing Center, 1343 Ellsworth Hall. Discussion of contrasts in cultural narratives in “The Clansman,” “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wind Done Gone.”

Wednesday, March 30

Heroes of Peace, 6 to 8 p.m., Room 105 WMU Bernhard Center. Five heroes of peace will be presented, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Henry Dunant, Fethullah Gülen, Nikkyo Niwano and Ralph Bunche. Event also includes an essay competition and light Mediterranean food.

For more information on the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, go to

Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Administrative account for the Community Voices website.