MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair resident Larry Hamm has been a longtime activist for social justice. Chairman and founder of People's Organization for Progress (POP), Hamm has is scheduled to deliver the keynote address during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of services held at noon on Monday, Jan. 19 at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, 119 Elm St., Montclair.

An advocate for human rights causes for more than 30 years, Hamm has inspired a movement for social change on a number of issues. A 1978 Princeton University graduate, Hamm has also served as the youngest ever appointed to the Newark Board of Education, making him the youngest to serve in the United States.

He was the founder and director of the People's Energy Cooperative, a community fuel oil cooperative. He served as the Director of the Community Organization Program for the United Church of Christ Commission For Racial Justice. He has also traveled with Rev. Ben Chavis throughout the deep south to retrace the route of the 1960s Freedom Rides. Hamm has received many awards, among them are "One Of The Most Influential Blacks in New Jersey Award" (City News) and "The Hope Shapiro Bread and Roses Peace Award" (New Jersey Peace Action). 

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“We are honored to have brother Hamm share his words of inspiration and motivation – he will leave us with a ‘call to action,’” said Councilor Baskerville, who welcomes the entire Montclair community to attend.

The service will also include performances by local youth talent: Montclair High School student Stacia Sweatt will sing, Ouiya Harris of the West Orange will perform a dance, and Montclair student artist Adanna Hylton will also share her talents. Several local choirs will also perform during the service.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is sponsored by the Montclair African American Clergy Association (MAACA), Montclair Clergy Association (MCA), Montclair National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Councilor Baskerville and the Fourth Ward Collaborative.

“Please join us for this interfaith time for reflection and rejuvenation,” said Baskerville.