The year following the dedication of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way saw
successful popular efforts including a Ban the Box
campaign, a groundswell in favor of
, and the election to City Council of the
African American leader of the effort to make Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day a holiday on the JMU campus.
In the past year, we have seen the rise of the Black Lives Matter
movement, the fall of Confederate flag, and Dr. King's powerful
vision from his final year defining the terms of the 2016 Presidential
At Noon, January 18, 2016, there will be a celebration at S. Main and
Martin Luther King, Jr. Way with a march and program at
Emmanuel Episcopal Church in which participants and
representatives from organizations will speak and then
gather over a multicultural potluck meal to carry forward efforts
into the coming year in the spirit of Dr. King.
Other events taking place for Martin Luther King,
Calendar at Eastern Mennonite
at James Madison
. NAACP Sunday Celebration Facebook event
The NAACP keynote speaker will be Rev. Derrick Parson, pastor of Providence
UMC , North Chesterfield ,VA. ,and formerly pastor of the local
Asbury UMC. Music will be rendered by the MLK Celebration Interfaith
Choir, led by Laura Douglass , Minister of Music of Asbury UMC,
Harrisonburg. A free will offering will be lifted to benefit People
Helping People and Mrs. Whilemina Johnson will be acknowledged for
her foresight in organizing this community service many years ago.
This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Way Coalition believes in inclusive
community in which every person is loved and valued, regardless of any
differences, and is empowered to participate, have a voice and effect
positive change in her or his community. We will work tirelessly to create
a sustainable democracy that is led and owned by the people, one
in which the people have timely access to the information and
expertise needed for governance. We will advocate for this vision and challenge,
if necessary, those individuals and systems of power that stand in the
way of building this beloved community in Harrisonburg.
On February 12, 2013 Harrisonburg resident Stan Maclin asked city
council to name a street for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On April 9th,
a task force was appointed by the city to select a street to be
named. On August 13, 2013, in agreement with an overwhelming show of
support, City Council voted to rename Cantrell Avenue.
The monument's design reflects a quote from
"Out of the
mountain of despair, a stone of hope."
The bright stone
profile of Dr. King in the center of the picture sheds the light of hope that
forms the background of the web site.
The monument's opening gave hope to one individual, Stan Maclin, to seek our street renaming.
He went through the despair of near death illness
before being brought back to see his dream realized.
Throughout its history, the African American community of
Harrisonburg has been strong with individuals who were a stone of hope
as the community overcame the despair of slavery, Jim Crow and
segregation, and urban renewal.
Now that history shines as a stone of hope to a diverse community
in these times of economic uncertainty and eroding justice when
Dr. King's vision gives energy for the future.
In September of 2013, a coalition of groups came together to
plan the dedication of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.
Groups and individuals continue to come forward with support in
terms of services and material and with endorsements and
participation to carry forward the message of that historic renaming.