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Reading King in Boston

Reading King in Boston (RKIB)

Registration details below

“Reading King in Boston” is a program that raises up specific works by Martin Luther King, Jr. The selections chosen are to be read and discussed in anticipation of themes raised up in four recognized national or international commemorations in fall, 2019.

The “Reading King in Boston” project is an offshoot of the New Democracy Coalition’s (NDC) annual effort at reading a King speech, sermon or letter publicly. Cooperative Metropolitan (CMM) is partnering with NDC on this project which includes support from the Ella J. Baker House and Seymour Institute in Dorchester and the NDC’s offshoot program, Boston Mountaintop. Boston University School of Theology, King’s university, is supportive of this project.

The four presentation/discussions will be held first at the Howard Thurman Center, Boston University, with the remainder of sessions held at Grove Hall Public Library, Roxbury. Our location at the Grove Hall Public Library will help to ensure that all people of whatever religious or secular traditions are welcome. Our first session at Boston University acknowledges the person and place formative of King’s work.

Our intention is to assemble a group of about 30 people, “King Fellows,” who will meet for the four sessions and become a literary nucleus for further work. The general public is strongly welcomed. Each of the four events, or “readings,” will occur about a week prior to and in relation to the four public events that transpire in the year of 2019. The four Reading King in Boston dates are September 19, October 10, November 7 and December 5. Persons planning to attend should register their interest on Eventbrite below.

We intend a person from each of the four readings to speak at each of the four city-wide events, making reference to King’s work. Those events are: 1) The United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21 [acknowledged on 9/22]), 2) Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day (October 14), 3) Armistice/Veterans Day (November 11), and 4) day acknowledging the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (December 10).

There will be reporting on this project at the MLK Volunteer Day,  January 20, at a youth event held annually at Brandeis University. In addition to the partnering organizations, this program is supported by Mass Humanities.

Contact for further information: Kevin Peterson ( or Rodney Petersen (

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RKIB: Rev. Mariama White-Hammond of New Roots AME Church

Recognizing the UN International Day of Peace

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm

BU Howard Thurman Center

775 Commonwealth Ave, Basement

Reading: Christmas Sermon, 1967

Climate Action for Peace – United Nations International Day of Peace Boston 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 2 – 4pm

Boston Common

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The United Nations has established “Climate Action for Peace” as the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace. The theme draws attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. Join CMM, Friends Meeting at Cambridge, Bethel Lowell Church, along with other partners, on the Boston Common in a day of music (starting at 1:45pm), dance, song, poetry, artwork, facepainting & activities for children, and peace education, followed by a walk to the Garden of Peace. Proclamations from Mayor Walsh’s office and Governor Baker’s office to be read.

Speakers and Performances include:

  • Rob Bethel Albioni’s “Adagio in G Minor”
  • Building Bridges Through Music
  • Neil Dale “Heart of the Earth” and “Help Wanted”
  • David Doms, Dan Fitzmartin, Toussaint Liberator, and Stu Repogle “How Long Can We Wait?”
  • Dawn Duncan “Carry It On”
  • Stone of Hope Drumming Circle “Djembe Rhythms”
  • Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman
  • Allen McGonagill “Headed for Extinction & What to do About It”
  • Kevin C Peterson of the New Democracy Coalition
  • Nick Rabb “Climate Change & War: Organizing Against Sanctioned Violence”
  • Rev. Vernon K Walker
  • Alewife Poets
  • Jubilee Christian Church Harvest Adult Dance Ministry
  • Participatory Dance led by Kaeza Fearn

For more updates, please visit: For more info and to ask about sponsorships, please email

RKIB: Jean-Luc Pierite of the North American Indian Center of Boston

Recognizing Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day

Thursday, October 10, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Grove Hall Public Library

41 Geneva Ave. Dorchester, MA 02121

Reading: Why We Can’t Wait: Origin of the Poor People’s Campaign, 1964

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Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day

Monday, October 14, 2019

List of events that took place

RKIB: Dr. Tony Van Der Meer of UMass Boston

Recognizing Veterans/Armistice Day

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Grove Hall Public Library

41 Geneva Ave. Dorchester, MA 02121

Reading: Beyond Vietnam, Riverside Church Address (pictured above), 1967

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Veterans/Armistice Day

Monday, November 11, 2019, 12 – 2pm

12pm Corner of Charles and Beacon Streets

2pm Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA

Please join Veterans For Peace and The Leftist Marching Band for Armistice / Veterans Day for Peace. November 11 became a national holiday in the aftermath of the horrors of World War I, when the day on which the fighting finally stopped was chosen to be remembered as Armistice Day. The holiday was born and designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.” After World War II, November 11 was rebranded as Veterans Day. Sadly, in the context of the Cold War, honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11th – as a day for peace. The peace movement will join Veterans for Peace and proudly walk behind the first, official, parade on Armistice / Veterans Day in Boston and gather in a peace Rally to reclaim our day of peace. We will gather between 12:00 pm (noon) and 12:30 pm on the corner of Charles and Beacon Streets. The official Parade steps off at 1:00 pm – our parade will follow the same route then we will continue to Faneuil Hall for our Armistice / Veterans Day for Peace Event at 2pm.

  • Gather Noon, March from Beacon and Charles at 1 PM
  • RALLY outside Faneuil Hall at 2 PM featuring Col. Andrew Bacevich, (U.S. Army ret.)

The rally at Sam Adams park at Faneuil Hall, in addition to BU historian Andrew Bacevich will include Veterans from different eras speaking, reading, and reciting original works of Poetry, Prose and Song. Professor Bacevich is also the founding President of the Quincy Institute, a think tank intending to promote diplomacy over war. He is the author of the recent piece

The Mass conference of the United Church of Christ has put out the below request to all churches to, on Monday November 11th, 2019, participate in our National Holiday Armistice Day / Veterans Day, by ringing their bell, at 11 o’clock, to give voice to our country’s dedication to work for world peace ( Last year, the 100th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice that brought the end to fighting, nearly 100 faith communities rang their bells in our area. Please use this tool this year to solicit other faith communities and record participation.

Litany of the Bells

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RKIB: Dr. Gary Dorrien of Boston University School of Theology

Recognizing the UN Declaration of Human Rights 71st Anniversary

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Grove Hall Public Library

41 Geneva Ave. Dorchester, MA 02121

Reading: Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? Ch. VI “The World House”, 1967

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Dr. Gary Dorrien and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 5:30 – 6:30pm

BU Marsh Chapel

735 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

  • Solo by – George Walters-Sleyon, PhD “The Prayer”
  • Welcome and Introduction – BUSTH Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore
  • A Hymn for Human Rights Day (December 10): “You Made Us In Your Image” (by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette)
  • Invocation – Brother Kevin Peterson of The New Democracy Coalition
  • Selection by the Seminary Singers: “Child of God” (composed by Mark A. Miller)
  • Introduction of the Speaker – George Walters-Sleyon, PhD
  • Speaker: Gary Dorrien, PhD – “Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rights of Humanity”
  • Reception of Speaker’s Remarks and Introduction to the Procession (distributing candles) – Rodney Petersen, PhD
  • Selection by the Seminary Singers: “Prayer Chant: We Resist” (composed by Mark A. Miller)
  • Acknowledgment/Procession outside to surround the King Monument to read the Litany for the 71st Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights – BUSTH Associate Dean Teddy Hickman-Maynard
  • Benediction

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