Madison Junior School will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of equality, nonviolence and justice on Monday with the third annual Compassion Through Action event.

A keynote address at 8:45 a.m. from Dr. Norma Bowe will kick things off. Bowe is an author, human rights activist and Kean University professor. As head of a community rights activist group known as Be the Change, Bowe works with Kean students and volunteers in the surrounding area.

Bowe and Be the Change work mainly with the Vertical Gardens Peace Project to create self-sustaining compact gardening systems that have reduced criminal activity in high-crime New Jersey neighborhoods by 3 to 10 percent, according to Kean University. 

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The group also runs operation PB&J, an initiative that helps feeds the homeless at Newark Penn Station on Thursday nights. 

Students can attend breakout sessions and talk with presenters from several social justice groups, who will share how they work toward King’s vision of equality and justice every day. 

Breakout session presenters include: 

  • Ashley Chiappano, Garden State Equality
  • Kerry Cozzolino, photography project on homeless veterans
  • Wesley Marrow, President of Morris County NAACP
  • Michael D’Amato, author of the “Dominican Experiment”
  • Juliana Meehan, art in building communities in post genocide Rwanda
  • Ali and Chris Spangler, former Peace Corp members
  • Marcella Wilson and Cindy Collins, ECLC
  • Eliza Reddick and Mike Nixon, Amnesty International
  • Maria Savettiere, Deirdre’s House
  • Celeste Stracco, Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Janette Scrozzo and Wayne Paglieri, Covenant House
  • Melissa Honohan, Cristo Rey School Newark
  • Amie Herman, Madison Area YMCA. 

Madison Junior School received a grant from the Madison Education Foundation in support of this event.