2017-01-13 / Your City

18th annual MLK Celebration to be held on Monday

Submitted to The Champion

The 18th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will be held Monday, Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Church Unitarian Universalist, 15 West St., Leominster.

Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to noon. The cost is $12 in advance and $15 at the door, with a $40 maximum per family. Civil rights landmarks and losses of 2016 will be recognized during the brunch.

Throughout the free commemorative program from noon to 2 p.m., local musicians will pay tribute through their music, to the tone and tenor of the time.

Remarks will come from Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella, Congressman Jim McGovern and Fitchburg Mayor Steve DiNatale.

The keynote speaker will be educator, activist and theologian the Rev. Dr. Sandras M. Barnes. Barnes has a background in education as a teacher and teacher educator focusing on racism in education. Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in Black Studies/Psychology from UMass Boston, a master’s degree in Counseling Education from Lesley College and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Lesley University. Barnes, an ordained minister, also holds a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton.

Angelita Santiago, a local civil rights activist, advocate and educator for more than 30 years, will be honored for her work on behalf of children, families and others needing assistance navigating school and community resources. As a Leominster Spanish American Center board member, she has used her fluency in Spanish and multiple dialects to help bridge communities.

There will also be a performance by Leominster High School Hip-Hop Culture class members.

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