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Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration to be Held Sunday, January 19 at Federated Church of Hyannis

January 6, 2020

On Sunday, January 19 from 2:30–5:00pm, Cape Cod Community College, the Cape Cod Council of Churches, the Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP, and the Federated Church of Hyannis will host their annual community celebration recognizing the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Federated Church of Hyannis on 320 Main Street.

The theme of this year’s celebration focuses on one of Dr. King’s famous quotes: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.” Through speakers and readings from community members and local students, including a student enrolled at CCCC, the service will explore the importance of this quote and how its message is still relevant today.

The celebration will begin at 2:30pm with a silent march from the Hyannis Town Green to the Federated Church of Hyannis. Service at the Church will begin at 3:00pm. Along with live music, readings, and reflections from YMCA Achievers and students, the celebration will be capped off by a keynote address from Juan Cofield, President of the NAACP New England Board of Directors.

Cofield is serving his eight term of President, and has been a civil rights advocate for decades. While a college student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he played a key role in assisting black striking cafeteria workers in their demand for fair compensation, ultimately leading to the Wage and Hour Administration of the US Labor Department to pay the workers several hundred thousand dollars in back overtime pay. As President of the New England Chapter of NAACP, he has led advocacy campaigns to increase awareness and affordable access to medication for African Americans with heart failure and led the charge for the establishment of the New England Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2008. With a laser focus on closing education and achievement gaps, Cofield has also been heavily involved in the Massachusetts “Save our Public Schools” committee, serving as Chair of the organization’s campaign committee.

Admission to the celebration is free and open to the public. Donations can be made the day-of to the NAACP Scholarship Fund to benefit local students.