January 9, 2008

Martin Luther King Day

Dr. Carolyn Goodman at the Museum

Last summer, the Museum lost a longtime friend and inspiration, Dr. Carolyn Goodman. Many of you know her name from her commitment to the Civil Right Movement. In 1964, members of the KKK murdered her son Andrew, along with Michael Schwerner and James Cheney, civil rights workers who had gone down to Mississippi to register Black voters. Following the murders, Dr. Goodman took up her son’s cause and devoted much of her life to civil rights. A beloved and frequent speaker at the Museum, Dr. Goodman shared intimate family details that made audiences truly feel like a part of her family. In honor of Dr. Goodman’s life and work, it is only fitting that we dedicate this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute to her memory.

In Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is in the spirit of Dr. King’s teachings and writings that a panel of distinguished religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist faiths will join moderator Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance Foundation, for a tribute to the important work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The evening will feature an interfaith discussion that will focus on the relationship between spiritual practice and social change, and the lessons of justice and equality that have inspired the panelists’ own activism. The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place at the Museum on Wednesday, January 16 at 6:30 p.m.

“It is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Dr. King that we spend his birthday talking about the positive role faith and spirituality can play in social change,” said Rev. Gaddy. “Dr. King was able to bring people of many different faiths together to support the cause of Civil Rights. I would hope that religious leaders of today would turn to Dr. King’s legacy as a model for positive change rather than continuing to use faith as a source of division.”

The panel will include: Fr. Daniel Berrigan, West Side Jesuit Community; Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church; Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Director of Islamic Chaplaincy and Professor, Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary; Rev. T.K. Nakagaki, Head Resident Minister, The New York Buddhist Church; and author Al Vorspan, Director of Social Action Emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism.

The evening is co-sponsored by The Interfaith Alliance Foundation, a religious liberty organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in public life though education, research and civil discourse.

Click here for more information: http://www.mjhnyc.org/safrahall/visit_safra_15.htm#goodman

(Photo by Melanie Einzig)

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