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King celebration tonight

Concord – Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and in honor of the civil rights leader, the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council is presenting “Martin Luther King, Jr.,: a Concord-Carlisle Observance” this evening at the Sanborn building. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will include a musical tribute featuring performances by students from the elementary, middle and high schools, followed by a keynote speech delivered by Boston College professor Dennis Taylor. The event is free and open to the community.

Court Booth, co-chairman of the Human Rights Council, said the non-profit organization has been sponsoring some form of MLK Day observance for most of its 26-year existence. While there are many events in Boston each year commemorating King’s life and work, Booth said it was important to hold a celebration locally as well.

“To live near Boston is not to live in Boston. While Dr. King is remembered in many powerful ways in [Boston], here in the suburbs, we don’t tend to do as much,” Booth said. “We feel it is very important to carry on his message of appreciating differences, overcoming racism and overcoming economic injustice.”

To build upon that message, the Human Rights Council will present its keynote speaker, Concord resident and B.C. professor Taylor. In his speech, entitled “Overcoming Racism: A Personal Journey,” Taylor will share his own personal experiences as a youth growing up in Baltimore at a time when racial discrimination was prevalent.

The event will also feature musical performances by the Willard School fifth-grade singers; the Concord Middle School sixth-grade chorus, select chorus and small ensemble; and select CCHS performers.

Booth said he was pleased that the schools are taking an active role in the evening’s festivities.

“This is one of the many ways that children can understand and appreciate diversity as they prepare to enter the world in which they’re going to live,” he said.

“Martin Luther King, Jr.,: a Concord-Carlisle Observance” begins tonight, Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Sanborn building at 835 Old Marlboro Road.

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