Jewish, African-American communities to honor King’s legacy Jan. 21 at annual event

The program will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at Stone Temple, 3622 W. Douglas Boulevard.    

MLK Day 2018 image
Jewish and African-American leaders join together for We Shall Overcome at the end of the King Day commemoration in January 2018. Photo credit: Robert Kusel.

For the sixth year in a row, JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council will partner with Stone Temple Baptist Church and the North Lawndale Historical & Cultural Society to hold an observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The program will take place at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at Stone Temple, 3622 W. Douglas Boulevard.  

"The Fierce Urgency of Now: Turning Dark Yesterdays into Bright Tomorrows" will focus on how activists are translating King's legacy and philosophy of non-violence into prevention and education programs in Chicago. 

Invited speakers include activists from North Lawndale's Peace Warriors, a group of teens who educate their peers about King's nonviolence principles, provide support, and create opportunities for conflict resolution. Musicians from the Jewish and African-American communities also will participate.   

"As every year, we will reflect on Dr. King's legacy and life," said JCRC Chair Bill Silverstein. "We will reaffirm the deep connection between Jews and African-Americans and our pledge to stand up for each other."

As in past years, volunteers from JUF's TOV Volunteer Network will join Stone Temple members for a special service project, preparing and serving a hot breakfast to the North Lawndale community earlier in the day.  

The location of the event bears witness to King's legacy. Stone Temple, whose building was once a synagogue, was one of the few churches to host King for a series of sermons in the summer of 1966, even as city administrators threatened to cut off funding from daycare and school programs for letting him speak there.  

To learn more about the program and to register to attend, visit  or contact Jane Charney at

Jane Charney is the director of Domestic Affairs for JUF's Jewish Community Relations Council.

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