Westport salutes MLK

Five Westport organizations team for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, Jan. 17 through 21.

Westport celebrates the work and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a weeklong series of free, virtual events from Sunday, January 17 through Thursday, January 21.

Hosted by the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council and Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy, the week begins with a conversation with Layla F. Saad, author of The New York Times best-seller “Me and White Supremacy” (2020), on Sunday, Jan. 17, noon to 1 p.m.  (The event also launches Westport Library’s 2021 WestportREADS, “Towards a More Perfect Union: Confronting Racism.”)

Saad, whose background bridges the Middle East and the West, will discuss her book with TEAM Westport’s Bernicestine McLeod Bailey, president and founder of McLeod Associates, Inc., an information technology consulting firm, and vice president of operations for Aisha & Co. LLC, a family gift company.

TEAM Westport, in concert with co-sponsoring organizations, is delighted to welcome Ms. Saad,” said Harold Bailey, Jr., chair of TEAM Westport.  “For the first time in the decade and a half of the Westport/Weston MLK Event, we will extend this year’s celebration beyond a single keynote on Sunday to several additional meaningful events over MLK Week.”

To RSVP, visit  https://westportlibrary.org/event/15th-annual-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-celebration/.

The second scheduled event will be “Me and White Supremacy: What Can I Do Next?”, a panel discussion by representatives of partner organizations, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7 to 8 p.m.  The panel will consider how to prepare for and undertake the self-guided process outlined in Saad’s anti-racism education workbook, “Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor.”  The workbook debuted on The New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists and has sold nearly one million copies. 

To RSVP, visit https://westportlibrary.org/event/mlk-celebration-2021-what-can-i-do-next/.

The celebration week will culminate with “New Works/New Voices,” an evening of original monologues in response to Saad’s “Me and White Supremacy,” on Thursday, Jan. 21, 7 to 8 p.m.  At this world premiere, Gracy Brown, Tenisi Davis, Tamika Pettway and Terrence Riggins will share their new works exploring themes surrounding racial justice.

To RSVP, visit https://tickets.westportplayhouse.org/5430/5431.

The events will be followed in February, Black History Month, with a 28-day opportunity to utilize the work of Saad “for profound personal engagement on the impact of white supremacy and privilege upon the specific life of each participant,” added Bailey. “Such work is invaluable for establishing meaningful discussions of, and resolutions to, racial issues from local to nationwide arenas.”

More information will be announced soon on “Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor,” running Feb. 1 through 28. 

 Marking its 15th year, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration began in 2006 as an interfaith gathering, coordinated by the Interfaith Council of Westport and Weston.

 “In recent years, we have shifted the focus of our Dr. King Celebration from a remembrance of Dr. King’s groundbreaking leadership to an occasion to deepen our understanding of the continuing impact of systemic racism,” said Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton, pastor, Saugatuck Congregational Church. “There’s a need to equip ourselves to more effectively unmask and dismantle racism in our lives and community.”

To RSVP, visit  https://westportlibrary.org/event/15th-annual-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-celebration/.

And for more, visit: https://www.westportplayhouse.org/show/mlk2021/.

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