Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cambridge is adapting its annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. to recognize the devastation wreaked on Haiti by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake, said Brian Corr, executive director of the Cambridge Peace Commission.

The Annual Martin Luther King Day Commemoration and Remembrance of the People of Haiti is Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Central Square, starting in front of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., with a vigil in memory of King and all those lost in Haiti since the earthquake struck Tuesday afternoon. At noon there will be a brief memorial procession through the square to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church/Eglise Baptiste Elim, 838 Massachusetts Ave.

At the church there will be a Celebration of Dr. King’s Life and Work for Peace, Justice, and Transformation. The Rev. François Trottier of St. Peter’s and Rev. Margulien Saintus of Eglise Baptiste Elim will welcome participants. Winston Cox of the Social Justice Academy and the Rev. Manikka Bowman will give brief remarks. And there will be music by Veronique-Anne Epiter and poetry from Cambridge Boys & Girls Club youth.

Corr described some of the themes underlying the event:

In 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King described the most serious threat to American society. In his words, “We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” More than 40 years later, people in the United States, in Haiti, and across the globe still face these three existential threats.

This event, like others in the city’s recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For information, call (617) 349-4694 or e-mail Corr by clicking here.