COVID-19 certainly wasn’t going to stop the Three Rivers Area Faith Community from celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., but the annual event will look dramatically different this year.
“Our annual celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., will look a lot different this year due to COVID safety precautions,” Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma, executive director of *culture is not optional and TRAFC’s Vice-President, said.
“Everyone involved with TRAFC, though, recognizes the importance of coming together as a city to continue to be challenged by Dr. King’s ongoing prophetic witness for a world that meaningfully addresses systemic racism, relentless war, and crushing poverty. Sadly, Dr. King’s demands for justice still ring as true today as they did 50 years ago—which means we still have much work to do to bring about the beloved community of his dream.”
This Monday, January 18 from 5-5:30 p.m. participants will be asked to line up for a standing vigil along both sides of Main Street in downtown Three Rivers. Event organizers ask those planning to attend to bring a sign to display in celebration of “Dr. King’s legacy or in solidarity with the continuing work we need to do as a community.” Masks are required and individuals are asked to stay 10 feet apart from those not in your household.
While the event won’t feature its traditional meal and program, the story of King’s life and the continued freedom movement will be displayed in downtown storefront windows for a self-guided tour and will be available through the end of February.
During the event, organizers will also collect personal hygiene items and canned goods for the Three Rivers Food Site in the East Alley.
Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.