The seventh annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day, sponsored by Bedford Embraces Diversity, is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the student center of the Middlesex Community College campus, 591 Springs Rd.
The event is being billed as “a day of celebration, learning, and service,” and the public is encouraged to attend at no charge. Reservations are requested by emailing [email protected] or calling 781-983-1763. Walk-ins also will be welcome.
Leaders of local government, education, military, and businesses have been invited to attend. A continental breakfast will be available.
Guest speaker will be The Rev. Willie Bodrick, senior pastor of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury (https://tbcboston.org/the-pastor). The program also will feature soloist Tenesha Scarlett, executive assistant to the Middlesex provost.
Rev. Bodrick, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Northeastern University School of Law, leads the church where Dr. King preached and worshiped while pursuing his theology degree at Boston University 70 years ago. He is also on the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the attorney general’s Racial Justice and Equity Council.
When Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a national holiday, it included a community service component. The Bedford commemoration is focusing on donations of personal care items to the Middlesex Community College food pantry.
The pantry, available to all MCC students, provides food, personal hygiene items, and cleaning products at no cost. Its mission is “to connect our students with community resources that will improve their health, wellness, and security.”
The food pantry is seeking donations of any of the following personal-care items: body wash, cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss, deodorant, diapers, dish soap, fabric softener, face wash, feminine hygiene products, hair brushes, hair conditioner, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, mouthwash, paper towels, razors, shampoo, shaving cream, tissues, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and wipes.
Collection box locations will be announced, and donations also may be dropped off at the event. “We are definitely seeing greater than ever need by our students this year, so any donations will be incredibly beneficial for our campus community,” said an organizer of the food pantry.
Bedford Embraces Diversity was formed in 2014 in response to incidents of antisemitism. The organization fosters the belief that inclusion and acceptance should be extended to all residents, regardless of race, religion, disability, lifestyle, gender orientation, military, or cultural status.
Board members say they are excited about the Jan. 16 event, which manifests the group’s mission of “increasing awareness and understanding of community diversity.”