On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council will hold its annual celebratory event honoring the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Willard Elementary School from 7-8:30pm. A visionary, Dr. King dreamed of a time when we as Americans would “have a finer land, a better people.” He dreamed of a nation where equality, justice, and equity would be the rule and not the exception. Repeatedly, history has shown us that such ideals come at a high price – a price that must be paid by not only individuals but also by whole communities and groups of peoples across all walks of life.

For King, all of us, black, white, Christian, Jew, male, female, adult, child, rich and poor are interrelated. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail King wrote, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” In these words we cannot fail to see that we are all a part of the tapestry of life, woven together to form something of greater value than our individual selves. In King’s view, we all have a personal and corporate responsibility to move and to act powerfully towards the moral good. The CCHRC shares this view. Specifically, the CCHRC’s mission is predicated on the belief that all people are entitled to dignity and respect and that “the climate of the community is the responsibility of the community.”

King spoke of not wanting to be remembered for winning the Nobel Peace Prize but for “[giving] his life serving others” and for “[trying] to love somebody.” Arguably, no greater legacy exists; it is this we seek to honor.

Join us then as we follow King’s lead and lift up our diverse voices in song with the Holy Tabernacle Church Women’s Ministry Choir, the Boston Children’s Choir, the Willard Elementary School Chorus, the CCHS a Cappella Choir, and the Fenn Boys’ Chorus. Laughter and song (amidst tears, violence, and struggle) were hallmarks of the Civil Rights Movement and seem a fitting way to pay tribute to King and his legacy. The dream lives on in each one of us – we need only do our part. There is no charge for any Human Rights Council event; all are welcome. Kimberly Hill is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council.