Martin Luther
King, Jr. Way Renaming, Harrisonburg Virginia

People's Day 10th Anniversary, 2024

Celebration of People's Day has been underway all year since people from more than a dozen organizations gathered for People's Day 2023 and committed to organizing toward a mass in person 10th anniversary celebration, culminating in our noon Monday, January 15th 2024 march. Register now to join the mailing list and be part of the organizing. We are prepared to take Stan Maclin's aspiration to have Harrisonburg's diversity reflected in its public places and positions of power to the next level on the scaffolding that organizing has built.

People's Day 2024 Program:

  1. 11:45-12:00 Parking, JMU Mason Street Parking Deck.
  2. Parking will be free at the JMU Mason Street Parking Deck, on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and S. Main Street.
  3. Noon-12:15 Welcome and Orientation, JMU Fountain.
  4. We will convene at the fountain in front of Burruss hall and the old JMU library. From the parking deck, make your way allong S. Mason street into campus. The fountain area as at the turnaround where the street ends.
  5. 12:15-12:30 Opening Prayer.
  6. We will be led in prayer by Rabbi Jeffry Kurtz-Lendner of Harrisonburg's Beth El Congregation and long-time friend of Stan Maclin, founder of People's Day, Marvin Roan who will join us from Richmond.
  7. 12:30-1:00 People's Day Major Events Organizers.
  8. Representatives from the organizing teams that organized the mass events that have been a part of People's Day so far will speak for 3 to 5 minutes each, in chronological order, introducing their organizations and events and what the spirit of Dr. King and the dedication of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way means to them. This will be a time to form connections with city leaders and network to lift up the community's major events.
  9. 1:00-1:02 March Instructions.
  10. We will form up and return along S. Mason Street and cross to the historic block where Hotel Madison now stands. We will turn left and make our way to S. Main Street. We will then turn right and march along S. Main Street in front of Hotel Madison. At Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, we will turn right and march up the hill in front of the parking deck. We will not cross S. Main Street.
  11. 1:02-1:05 Community Organizations.
  12. If you have a community organization or cause for which to rally, bring signs and leafletts to announce. Seek out those who announced their causes as we make our way to the formal march.
  13. 1:10 March Along the Historic Section of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
  14. Take your time. Talk, sing, be seen. We will pause on S. Main Street and at the top of the hill on S. Mason Street to point out historic locations.
  15. 1:30-3:00 Informal Networking and Fellowship.
  16. Cross S. Mason Street to Emmanuel Episcopal Church for fellowship and followup. If you will be going inside, please be up to date on your vaccinations and wear a mask. Due to COVID risk, we will not be able to eat inside, though COVID-safe snacks and drinks will be provided in the parking lot.

People's Day Tenth Anniversary Events:

historybudget refugee dayhispanic festival african american festivalpride skeleton festival harvest fest medicare green friday

Greeting from Harrisonburg African American Festival Committee

On behalf of the Harrisonburg Rockingham African American Festival Committee, we thank you for the opportunity to be a small part of today's People's Celebration as we celebrate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we continue to march on, let us always be reminded that we MUST continue to work to break the chains of discrimination. If they say we can't, then we need to know why not.

We are all God's people, the color of your skin or mine should never be a determining factor of where we can live, worship, go to school, or work. We carry on to make known we are proud people with the same rights and responsibilities as others, though not always so easy. By working together, we showcase our heritage, we keep the dream and hope alive, and as we move forward by demonstrating the power of strength in numbers, we build up our people and our communities. The Harrisonburg Rockingham African American Festival has strived for close to thirty years to bring together our people and community to celebrate our rich heritage and community togetherness. We provide an avenue for ALL people to join us, to celebrate not only the African American community but our community as a whole! Dr. King's words read, "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

On Saturday, September 14, 2024, we will again be hosting the 28th annual Harrisonburg Rockingham African American Festival. In the past, we have occupied the space adjacent to Simms Center however this year we are most excited to be hosting IN Ralph Sampson Park! This brings a fresh new perspective to the festival and as we continue to move onward and upward an avenue to continue to give back and embrace our rich heritage as people and a community! We are planning a wonderful day of togetherness, peace, community organizations, food and craft vendors and invite each of you to join us as participants or supporters. Please look for us on Facebook or please reach out to us at HRAAF13@gmail.com if you have questions or would like to hear more concerning participation or support of the 28th annual Harrisonburg Rockingham African American Festival.

In conclusion, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.” “So even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Let us never forget where we come from or the many sacrifices of so many before us. Keep the dream alive!

Carol Johnson Raymond, Chair
Harrisonburg Rockingham African American Festival

EMU Schedule of Events:

JMU Schedule of Events:

Northeast Ministers Alliance MLK JR Celebration:


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People's Day 2023: archive

Vision Statement:

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.

The Renaming:

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.

History of the Coalition:

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.

People's Day 10th Anniversary, January 15, 2024

Únase a la Coalición Harrisonburg Martin Luther King, Jr. Way para eventos en vivo y en línea, incluida una marcha a lo largo de la sección histórica de Martin Luther King, Jr. Way al mediodía, en el feriado de Martin Luther King, Jr. Regístrese ahora y únase a la lista de correo para comenzar a organizar en http://MLKJrWay.org

Declaración de la visión:

La Coalición Martin Luther King, Jr. Way cree en una comunidad inclusiva en la que cada persona es amada y valorada, independientemente de las diferencias, y está capacitada para participar, tener voz y lograr un cambio positivo en su comunidad. Trabajaremos incansablemente para crear una democracia sostenible que sea dirigida y poseída por el pueblo, en la que el pueblo tenga acceso oportuno a la información y los conocimientos necesarios para la gobernabilidad. Defenderemos esta visión y desafiaremos, si es necesario, a aquellas personas y sistemas de poder que se interpongan en el camino de construir esta amada comunidad en Harrisonburg.

Historia de la Coalición:

En septiembre de 2013, una coalición de grupos se unió para planificar la dedicación de Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. Los grupos y las personas continúan brindando apoyo en términos de servicios y materiales, y respaldando y participando para llevar adelante el mensaje de ese cambio de nombre histórico.

El cambio de nombre:

El 12 de febrero de 2013, el residente de Harrisonburg, Stan Maclin, pidió al consejo de la ciudad que nombrara una calle para el Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. El 9 de abril, la ciudad nombró un grupo de trabajo para seleccionar una calle para nombrarla. El 13 de agosto de 2013, de acuerdo con una abrumadora muestra de apoyo, el Concejo Municipal votó para cambiar el nombre de Cantrell Avenue. Lea más sobre la historia del cambio de nombre, incluida la historia del "Gran General" que resultó ser un error tipográfico, en http://HistoricCantrellAve.com