BLOOMFIELD, NJ - New Life Baptist Church's Pastor, Reverend Vernon C. Miller, along with Councilwoman Davis, welcome all to attend Bloomfield Township’s 15thannual MLK Day observance program on Monday, January 16 at 4:00pm at the church, located at 89-91 Dewey Street.
Keynote speaker Dr. Annie Ellis Williams will offer comments on this year’s theme, "Where Do We Go From Here… Chaos or Community?" Pastor Miller comments that, “people need to be reminded of Dr. King's quest to preserve and create community and encouraged to continue pressing towards that quest.” Both he and Councilwoman Davis hope that attendees will leave with a greater appreciation for Dr. King, his commitment towards social justice and his desire for people to be involved in service to their communities.
The Bloomfield Civil Rights Commission will announce the winner of their "What Does Civil Rights Mean to Me?" Essay Competition for Bloomfield Middle and High School Students.
The observance of Dr. King’s birthday was signed into law as a National Holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and was first officially observed in 1986. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Martin Luther King Federal Holiday and Service Act, which expanded the mission of the holiday, encouraging community service, spawning the phrase, “A DayON, Not a Day OFF”.
Prior to 2002, Bloomfield did not observe the King Holiday, but Bernard Hamilton, the town’s first African-American Councilman, campaigned to recognize Dr. King’s legacy and the first observance program was held that year. After an overflow crowd at Town Hall in 2003, the late Reverend Dr. William C. Hall, then Pastor of NLBC, offered NLBC’s sanctuary to accommodate the growing number of attendees from Essex County and beyond who were drawn to the celebration. Councilwoman Davis, Pastor Miller, and the MLK Day Planning Committee hopes the community will come out again for these important events.
Attendees are encouraged to bring donation for the food and baby goods drive. For more information, call 973-338-5888.