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Human Rights Group Celebrates MLK
The Human Rights Advocates of Coos County are hosting a Martin Luther King birthday celebration at 1pm on Monday, January 20th in the North Bend Public Library meeting room. The program will include music, a short film, speakers, refreshments, and the presentation of the 2014 Human Dignity Award.
The featured speaker will be Charles Smith, who serves on the Leadership Council of the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to their website, the SPLC tracks the activities of hate groups and domestic terrorists, uses the courts on behalf of victims of bigotry and discrimination, and provides educators with free resources that teach school children to reject hate, embrace diversity and respect differences.
The recipient of this year’s Human Dignity Award is Judge Paula Bechtold, who is being honored for her advocacy of conflict resolution programs and for her support of the human rights of the mentally ill, the indigent, veterans, and women and children.
Martin Luther King’s birthday is on the third Monday of January and was first observed as a national holiday in 1986. King’s birthday has become a national day of service known as a day on, not a day off. Dr. Martin Luther King was born in 1929 and assassinated in 1968. King was a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and campaigned for civil rights and peace and against poverty. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
King was committed to non-violence. He was guided by his faith and by the example of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi. Between 1956 and 1968, King was arrested 30 times for his non-violent participation in civil rights activities.
The Human Rights Advocates of Coos County is a 501(c)3 organization. The HRACC recognizes the dignity of all persons and advocates for equal rights and justice through education and community building activities. The group’s goal is to educate members and the general public about issues of tolerance and to provide activities which encourage activism and community pride. More information is available at 541-217-8044