Montclair Honors 2021 MLK Day With Acts Of Service

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Eric Kiefer
·3 min read
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MONTCLAIR, NJ — The spirit of one of the greatest civil rights leaders in U.S. history lives on in Montclair.

On Monday, celebrations and events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. took place across the township for 2021. Catch up with a few of them below.

TONI’S KITCHEN

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill gave a shout out on social media to Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair for the food pantry’s recent act of kindness for local seniors.

“Dr. King reminds us that our country is made rich by acts of service both large and small,” Sherrill wrote. “For today’s MLK Day of Service, Toni's Kitchen in Montclair collected items for toiletry kits to distribute to seniors in our community.”

Learn more about making donations to Toni’s Kitchen.

Meanwhile, the Montclair Fire Department and local pub Just Jake’s partnered to kick off a food drive for Toni’s Kitchen in honor of Martin Luther King Day. The food drive will take place from Jan. 18 through Feb. 12.

Food items may be dropped off at any of the three township fire stations:

  • Township of Montclair Fire Department Headquarters, 1 Pine Street

  • Fire Station #2, 588 Valley Road

  • Fire Station #3, 151 Harrison Avenue

BREAKFAST EVENTS

The Eta Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., helds its 34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Saturday. It was the first time in the history of the event, the program was facilitated virtually.

The moderators of the event were Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Member, Bobby Brown, and West Councilor Tammy Williams; The distinguished panelist included Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Members: Comedian, Actor and Activist D.L.Hughley, Professor, Jack Monell (Winston-Salem University) and Civil Rights Attorney Bro. Damario Solomon-Simmons.

The discussion revolved around the social issues currently affecting the country. Former Montclair councilor, Renee Baskerville, received the Eta Pi Chapter Citizenship Award for her years of outstanding service to the community.

Watch a video below.

Meanwhile, the 32nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast was held virtually Monday.

Over the past 32 years, the scholarship fund has awarded scholarships and financial support to 153 students.

Mayor Sean Spiller offered remarks about this year’s event, mentioning that there has been a “disproportionate impact” from the coronavirus among Black and Brown communities.

Spiller said despite an “understandable reluctance” about the COVID-19 vaccine given the nation’s history, he encourages everyone in the community to get vaccinated.

Watch the full video of the scholarship breakfast below via MontclairTV34.

VANGUARD THEATER

The Vanguard Theater Company celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday with a special video presentation of musical selections from past Vanguard productions that speak to King's dream of equity, unity and love.

Watch the video below.

SCHOOLS

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Montclair Public School District was closed on Monday.

Schools held a range of activities and celebrations virtually, including “read alouds,” letter writing, days of service, flip grid videos and other service components.

Meanwhile, Montclair State University held its annual MLK Day of Service virtually for 2021 due to the pandemic, hosting 11 events to encourage community service.

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com

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This article originally appeared on the Montclair Patch