MLK Day: Monday events surround ‘Justice for all’ theme

Gorge residents are invited to celebrate the life, work and dreams of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, Jan. 18, at Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State streets in downtown Hood River.

The theme of this year’s celebration, sponsored by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM), is “The Dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. Live On: Building a Community with Justice for All.”

Monday is a federal holiday; banks, schools and government offices will be closed.

The GEM event will have three parts:

4-5 p.m.: Four discussion workshops: “The historic trauma that lives among Celilo Falls and its Native American people — how a time of joy went from a roar to a calm;” “Equity towards social justice in Hood River and Wasco Counties” (how local Latinos are coming together to advocate for policies that promote equity); “Know Your Rights” — an update on immigration issues; and climate work in the Gorge for 2016 with the Climate Action Network.

5:15 p.m.: Potluck dinner.

6:30 p.m.: Musical celebration of King, featuring a community-wide gospel choir directed by local musician Tim Mayer. Anyone interested in being a part of the choir should contact Paul Thompson at paul@

“On the MLK holiday we will gather to reflect upon and celebrate the spirit-filled, justice-oriented work of King,” said Riverside Pastor Rev. Vicky Stifter. “We will also lift up the injustice and unfulfilled dreams that exist in the lives of many in our own communities.”

The celebration is free of charge and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to support GEM’s social and environmental justice work in the Gorge.

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