MLK events opportunity to learn, make a difference

Twenty years ago Columbus went all-in on recognizing the ongoing impact of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, and his dream to see a nation free of racial inequality.

The civil rights activist’s vision is worth striving for, and the city took an important step by creating public educational events in which residents could participate and benefit.

This year, the number of events increased to eight, either leading up to the Jan. 16 holiday or on that day itself.

Scheduled events included a screening of the movie “Selma,” about King’s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, on Thursday; and a discussion Saturday titled “Improving Police and Community Relations.”

The 40th Annual Calvary Community Church Martin Luther King Day scholarship program is today, and the African American Pastors Alliance community breakfast kicks off five events Monday.

These events are relevant and all the more important because of developments over the past year nationally and in Columbus. For example, some Columbus students were harassed in the fall based on their ethnicity. That speaks to the need that more must be done to make Columbus a city that welcomes all, despite 50 years of progress that has occurred.

Future progress on racial equality in Columbus requires open dialogue and active participation by residents. The city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events present an important opportunity for that to occur.

It’s through the willingness of individuals to make a difference that the community benefits as a whole.

If you go

Events today and Monday in Columbus that will be observed for the 20th annual recognition locally of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Today

40th Annual Calvary Community Church Martin Luther King Day scholarship program. Speaker: The Rev. Jane Sims, co-pastor and co-founder of the church, 1031 Chestnut St. 4 p.m. Free, but donations accepted. Information: 812-372-3077.

Monday

African American Pastors Alliance community breakfast. Theme: “Remember! Celebrate! Act!” Speaker: Chad Sims of Columbus, a former employee of Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, youth director and a doctorate candidate in psychology at Ball State University. 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Columbus North High School cafeteria, 1400 25th St. Free. Information: David Bosley at 812-372-9336 or by email, dayspringchurch@att.net

Calvary Community Church program to encourage young people to strive for excellence and be effective in difficult times. Participants will review a film on progress being made by the African-American community, including history of Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, followed by discussion. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Calvary Community Church. Open to all. Free.

Discussion forum, “Building Alliances for Justice in Our Democracy: Making Time for Activism and Advocacy,” featuring Khaula Murtadha of IUPUI. Event will also include a presentation of the IUPUC Diversity Awards, Columbus Learning Center, 4555 Central Ave., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati theatrical performance, “Martin’s Dream,” a one-man show, 2 p.m. at Nugent-Custer Performance Hall of The Commons, 300 Washington St., Columbus. Free.

“Reclaiming the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” presented by Black Lives Matter of Columbus. Speakers include Brittany King, organizer of local Black Lives Matter chapter; spoken-word artist Mariah Ivey; speaker Christopher Hunt; Aimee Zoeller of IUPUC discussing King’s civil disobedience; Unitarian Universality Congregation, 7850 W. Goeller Road, Columbus, 6 p.m. Free. Information: Facebook page of Black Lives Matter of Columbus or blacklivesmatter@gmail.com