A Message from the MLK Committee of Amherst

This message comes from the MLK Committee of Amherst (1984 – present). It is set with prayerful hopes for a year of moving forward to serve our community with renewed spirits and clarity of purpose. That said, due to overwhelming challenges that have wreaked havoc in our lives and in this organization, we find it necessary to declare a hiatus. Our decision to suspend this 36 yr. old community celebration is directly connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Baker’s Covid-19 order #59 (https://www.mass.gov/info…/covid-19-state-of-emergency…).

Given the wide range of our inclusive celebrations – the in-gathering of elementary school singers, middle and high school singers and musicians, local elected leaders, politicians, clergy, educators, business owners and citizens from all walks of life – setting up a reasonably organized virtual celebration proved to be much more than we could manage. Dr. King once said these words, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Moving forward is exactly what we are going to do throughout this hiatus. We will be canvassing in various ways to refresh our partnerships with various organizations and establish new partnerships with others. Inspired by the legacies of our co-founders, Mother Mary Wyatt and Judy Brooks, we will enlist everyone’s help with finding individuals who desire to serve our community. Dr. King offers us wise guidance in this regard. “Everyone can serve………….., you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love”. We need workers who hold this to be true. Again, Dr. King calls our attention in this way, “all labor that lifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence”.The Martin Luther King Jr. Committee knows that we are fortunate to be a part of this community. We wish you and all of your family the resilience to come through whatever storms arise. We pray for those who have had great losses during this past year. We pray for those who are ill, and for their recovery. And we pledge to work through this hiatus in the spirit of our namesake Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In lieu of the Community Breakfast, Amherst Media will be airing selected recordings of landmark MLK Community Breakfasts over the past 36 years, interspersed with commentaries from community members who have been part of this movement over the years on Saturday 16th January 2021. During this broadcast, there will be opportunities to make donations towards the MLK Scholarships which go to deserving high school seniors entering college. “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” This is our pledge. And with your help, beloved community, we will be undefeated by the challenges that lie ahead.

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