The Community Celebrates the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

martin-luther-king-jrAdat Shalom Synagogue and Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church celebrate together the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Adat Shalom Synagogue and Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church celebrate together the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Building Bridges Together – An Afternoon of Song and Inspiration.” The event will take place on Sunday, January 17, 2015 at Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church, 8700 Chrysler Freeway Drive, Detroit, Michigan 48211 at 3:30p.m.

The program will feature the Adat Shalom and Russell Street choirs under the leadership of Hazzan Daniel Gross and Reverend Michael Kennedy.  Other presenters will include Reverend Dr. Deedee Coleman, Rabbi Aaron Bergman, Rabbi Rachel Shere, Reverend Dr. Lawrence C. Glass, Jr., Bishop P. A.. Brooks, II, the critically acclaimed soprano Lauren Skuce Gross and the Russell Street and Hillel Day School youth choirs.   There will be a special guest presentation by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and president of the International Fellowship of  Christians and Jews.

“The afternoon will be dedicated to Dr. King’s legacy of friendship and support towards Israel during the civil rights struggle and to his commitment to build bridges between African Americans and Jews”, says the Reverend Dr. Deedee M. Coleman, Pastor of Russell Street Missionary Baptist Church.

All donations raised during this event will go towards building a bomb shelter in Israel.

This afternoon of song and inspiration with these two communities of faith is sponsored by The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

A Tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sponsored by the City of Troy and Troy School District

Honor the legacy of one of America’s greatest leaders at the 2016 “MLK – A Celebration of Freedom,” a tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The annual program will take place at Athens High School on Monday, January 18 at 8:30 am.  There is no charge to attend, but donations will be accepted to help organize next year’s program.  All ages are welcome.

“We look forward to capturing the spirit of Dr. King and remembering his life through this celebration,” Cindy Stewart, Community Affairs Director for the City of Troy said.  “This community event is a meaningful way to pause and reflect on his uncompromising dedication to garnering civil rights for all people.”

The Celebration kicks off with a welcome by Steve Spreitzer, President and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion followed by a symbolic Unity Walk with Troy School District students around Athens High School.

Superintendent of Troy Schools Dr. Richard Machesky and Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick will emcee the program.  There will be recognition of the Troy School District student Art Contest, Essay Contest and Video Contest winners.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”   This year’s theme for the essay, art and video contests is “How have the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired you to be a leader today?

“We are very proud of our Troy School District students’ commitment to our annual Celebration of Freedom to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,” Kerry Birmingham, Troy School District Community Relations Director said.  “We have always had a large number of essay, video and art contest entries.  Their musical talent also shines during each program with our school choir performances.”

Keynote Speaker for the event is Mark Fancher, Staff Attorney for the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU of Michigan. Through his work, Mark Fancher addresses: racially disproportionate rates of incarceration; racial discrimination against public school students of color, racial profiling, attacks on the democratic rights of communities of color and abusive police practices.

Fancher was formerly the Senior Staff Attorney for the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice where he specialized in workers’ rights. He served on the staff of the State Bar of Michigan from 1998 to 2000 where he coordinated projects to encourage greater pro bono participation by Michigan’s lawyers. He was a visiting assistant clinical professor at the University of Michigan Law School from 1996 through 1998.

Before moving to Michigan, Fancher was the Director of Litigation for Camden Regional Legal Services in New Jersey. He has also been in private practice where he specialized in employment discrimination and community economic development. Fancher is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law – Camden. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Tennessee.

Fancher has played leadership roles in the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) for numerous years. He has also lectured across the country and written extensively on issues that include: the U.S. military presence in Africa, political repression in the U.S., and the land and resource rights of traditional indigenous communities.

There will be music performances by the Larson Middle School Choir, a soloist from the Troy High School Choir, and a local dance group.  A continental breakfast prepared by Sodexo Food Service will immediately follow the program.

Organized by the City of Troy and the Troy School District, this year’s event is sponsored by: DTE Energy Foundation, Troy Community Coalition, Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence, Alliance Mobile Health, Beaumont Health System, Walsh College, Sodexo Food Service, Troy-Area Interfaith Group, Big Beaver United Methodist Church, Troy Area Alliance Against Hate Crimes, and Troy Lanes.

“We are so grateful to our local businesses for sponsoring this wonderful event,” added Stewart.  “They are also an inspiration in their commitment to partner with the City of Troy and Troy School District in supporting such a moving tribute to Dr. King.”

Athens High School is located at 4333 John R.  For more information about the program call the Community Affairs Office at 248.524.1147.