King Day celebrations diverse

Music, prayer, lecture and dining will all be included in local celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Civil Rights next week.
– Rivier College will celebrate the life and accomplishments of King on Monday, Jan. 19, with the 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.
More than 300 people attend the breakfast each year.
This year the event will be part of Rivier’s ongoing “Power of One Peace and Social Justice series” which will also include the play, “The meeting: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.”
The play, by Jeff Stetson, depicts a fictional meeting between King and Malcolm X in a Harlem hotel room.
“It’s interesting to wonder what might have happened if these two leaders had met and talked. But more importantly, it’s key to understand that they both played an important role in the struggle,” said Sharron Rowlett, Rivier’s director of multicultural affairs, in a written statement.
The breakfast is sponsored by Southern New Hampshire Outreach for Black Unity in partnership with Rivier College and Fleet Bank. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Outreach for Black Unity office at 882-8994 or 594-0531.
Admission is $15 for OBU members, $20 for nonmembers and $12 for students and children ages 5 to 12. It will be held at Alpine Grove, 19 S. Depot Road, Route 111A in Hollis.
The play will be presented Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in the college’s Dion Center. Admission is free.
– The New Hampshire Historical Society will also be observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day by presenting “Quilts, Coded Signals and the Underground Railroad,” a lecture by L’Merchie Frazier, on Sunday.
Frazier will explain how quilts were used as symbols and a means of communication among slaves using the Underground Railroad.
The lecture will be at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
– First Baptist Church in Nashua will hold a service observing the holiday, also on Sunday, at 4 p.m. The event will combine music and speakers presenting segments of King’s speeches.
– The Milford Unitarian Universalist Church’s observance of the day will be held Sunday at 3 p.m.
The celebration will include the life and work of King, through words and music. The observance will be held at the Church, 20 Elm Street.
– In Peterborough, the holiday celebration, set for Saturday, will include a keynote speech called, “Victory in Small Places – The Triumph of American Civil Rights Movement in Small Towns and Hidden Communities.”
Peter Temes, president of the Antioch New England Graduate School, will deliver the speech.
The observance will be held at the Peterborough Unitarian Church, 25 Main Street, starting at 1p.m.
– The New Hampshire Cultural Diversity Awareness Council will host the third annual “Keeping the Dream Alive” dinner celebration on Monday at 6 p.m.
J. Michael Hickey, president of Verizon-New Hampshire, will be master of ceremonies. Gov. Craig Benson and U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley will appear as guest speakers.
The dinner will be held at the Concord Grappone Center, 70 Constitution Ave.
Proceeds from the dinner will be given to approximately 300 seventh- and eighth-grade New Hampshire students who will be given the opportunity to participate in the annual “Keeping the Dream Alive” cultural diversity workshop.
– The University of New Hampshire will celebrate the holiday Wednesday, Jan. 28, and Thursday, Jan. 29, with a two-day celebration called, “Sharing the Dream: Peace, Equity and Change.”
Festivities begin Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. with “Community Services for Change” in the Granite State Room of the Memorial Union Building.
At the event, staff and students will be given the opportunity to write letters, sign petitions and learn about dozens of community nonprofit and campus service organizations.
Andrea Bushee can be reached at 594-6860 or