Very early in his civil rights campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. posed this inquiry to an audience in Montgomery, Alabama: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” He repeated the question often, and it bears another examination as we celebrate the observance of his birthday Jan. 17. Locally, this year’s commemorations include the annual Eugene-Springfield NAACP Community MLK March (Canceled due to COVID) as well as Springfield’s 24th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March, Celebration and Student Contest (Canceled due to COVID) , organized in part by the Springfield Alliance for Equality and Respect (SAfER). Additionally, Lane Community College will host cultural arts advocate and Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell on Jan. 13, and Oregon State University is hosting a week-long series of events, the school’s 40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week. It is a chance for everyone to recharge their batteries in the ever-continuing struggle for equity and to remember, too, the introduction to the quote above, noted in a collection of sermons published in 1963 (Strength to Love): “Light has come into the world, and every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement.” See calendar listings for more events, all week long.
The Eugene-Springfield NAACP Community MLK March is canceled
begins at 9 am, Jan. 17 with a rally at the north gate of Autzen Stadium and a march past the federal courthouse and to The Shedd. Springfield’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and Student Contest march is canceled but the student contest is online (organized by SAfER) begins with a 1 pm march starting at the Springfield Justice Center (230 4th Street) and ends at Two Rivers/Dos Rios Elementary School. Mary Schmidt Campbell speaks at 5:30 pm, Jan. 13 at a Zoom event, and OSU’s week-long celebration of MLK is Jan. 17 through Jan. 21. More information for it is at Diversity.OregonState.edu.
Eugene-Springfield NAACP and the city of Springfield have canceled the MLK marches.