SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18, the public is invited to gather at the Scotch Plains Public Library for a 2:00 p.m. discussion of social and cultural competency by Rev. Dr. Reginald O. Davenport, interim pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church in Scotch Plains.

Social competence refers to the ability to get along with others, while cultural competence refers to the ability to be sensitive to people from cultures and/or belief systems other than one’s own.

Dr. Davenport holds a B.A. in History from Jersey City State College; an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Seton Hall University; and a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Education and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on cultural competence and has spoken on the topic at national and statewide conferences.

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The talk, with refreshments to follow, is co-sponsored by Social Justice Matters, Inc. and the Scotch Plains Public Library as part of a community-wide participation in MLK Day of Service. Register for the talk on the library’s website or the MLK Day of Service website. The library will be closed for regular business that day.

At 4:00 p.m., books for participants who have registered for the library’s Beyond To Kill a Mockingbird book and film series will be distributed. There will be an opportunity to chat about the series with Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps, who will lead discussions, and with the librarians who organized this series. The Beyond To Kill a Mockingbird series was made possible in part by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Funding by the Friends of Scotch Plains Public Library has been instrumental in bringing this series to the public. 

The Scotch Plains Library is located at 1927 Bartle Ave., one block from Park Ave in the center of town. Public Library programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 908-322-5007 x204.