The Annual Rededication to the Dream Commemoration will take place at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the corner of Vine and Pleasant streets, Oberlin.
The service will be followed by a reception at the House of Zion Community Center, located across the street from Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 185 South Pleasant St. This gathering is organized by the Oberlin Area Cooperating Ministries and will feature a variety of voices from throughout the community.
Commemorations will continue at 6 p.m. with a community potluck at Peace Community Church, 44 East Lorain St. The meal will be followed by a video and discussion at 7 p.m. featuring a sermon by the Rev. William Barber, one of the important civil rights leaders of our own day. Barber is the leader of the New Poor People’s Campaign, which continues King’s work for a more economically just society.
King visited Lorain County several times during his life. His traveled to Oberlin in February 1957, mere months after waging a 381-day bus boycott with the Montgomery Improvement Association in Alabama.
Another notable visit came in October 1964 after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. King spoke to a crowd of 2,500 at Finney Chapel in Oberlin, focusing on America’s path to racial integration.
In 1965, King was named an honorary alumnus of Oberlin College, awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree as he delivered the commencement address to graduating seniors.
“I can never come to this campus without a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for all that this great institution has done for the cultural, political, and social life of our nation and the world. By all standards of measurement, Oberlin is one of the great colleges, not only of our nation, but of the world,” he said.