PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Martin Luther King, Jr. 41st Annual Memorial Breakfast took place at Plainfield High School on the morning of the observed holiday. The Plainfield Public Schools and Frontiers International Plainfield Area Club co-sponsored event featured keynote speaker Lawrence Hamm, civil rights activist and humanitarian. The full release follows:
The message today to "keep hope alive" was the rallying call to participants at the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 41st Annual Memorial Breakfast, sponsored by Plainfield Public Schools and Frontiers International Plainfield Area Club at Plainfield High School. The message was based on Rev. King's words "We must accept finite disappointments but never lose infinite hope."
Superintendent of Schools Anna Belin-Pyles said, " Dr. King's quote means to me that we must keep hope alive and that disappointments do not last forever. I want students to know that no matter what happens they must continue to try and never give up. Dr. King was beaten, jailed more than 29 times and his life was constantly threatened, but he never gave up. He continued to march and walk for civil rights, until his death," she said.
The breakfast included an awards ceremony, students performances and inspiring words by keynote speaker Mr. Larry Hamm, an activist, humanitarian and lecturer who is known for his tireless work for justice and civil rights. Mr. Hamm urged the audience to demand inclusion of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Curriculum as mandatory reading for students, lest people forget the sacrifices that Dr. King and other civil rights leaders accomplished to create change. He urged the audience to keep on fighting and not give up.
Artistic performances included presentations from students from Cook, Evergreen and Emerson elementary schools, Maxson Middle School, PAAAS and Plainfield High School. Children from the Steppers and Praise Dancers from St. Marks Episcopal Church also performed.
Scholarship were presented to Plainfield High School Students Dejanay Caldwell, Jovan Fuller, Kenar Myers, and Ashley Pyne. Music Teacher and the Marching Band Director Mr. Gregory Wiliams, Community Volunteer Nancy Jordan and Plainfield High School Resource Office Bernel Harrison received the Frontiers Service Awards.
The event included the reenactment of the Freedom March headed by children from Cook School who held signs that read "We demand voting rights now; Black Lives Matter, We march to end racial profiling" among others.
The event was very well attended by Mayor Mapp, members of the community, elected officials and members of the Plainfield Board of Education.