The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day will feature a new twist this year, with an invitation for everybody on the island to stand up and walk together for what they believe is important, as King and his comrades once did.
The celebration starts at 9:30 a.m. Monday, at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center, at 3353 Eono Street.
Participants will walk together around Isenberg Park, which surrounds the neighborhood center. They can, if they wish, carry posters, signs and flyers stating what they want people to know, so long as it is kind, respectful and loving. The event is not political in nature.
With the theme “Inspiring the Leaders of Tomorrow,” the celebration targets children and young people with the hope they will grow up knowing how to resolve conflicts lovingly and respectfully, without violence; and to stand up for victims of bullying.
“The holiday provides a unique opportunity to teach young people to fight evil, not people, to get in the habit of asking themselves, ‘what is the most loving way I can resolve this conflict?’” — Coretta King in her essay “The Meaning of the King Holiday.”
Following the walk, everybody is invited into the neighborhood center for refreshments, with the program beginning at 10:25 a.m. Speakers include Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Sabra Kauka.
Also included: an introduction to the life of Martin Luther King Jr.; high school peer mediators will teach six steps you can take to stop a conflict quickly; and the announcement of the winners of the island-wide coloring contest.
At noon, a free lunch will be served, with the idea of creating a “marketplace of ideas.” People will be sitting together and discussing a subject important to them, such as love, respect, conflict resolution, mentoring and others.
The public is invited to the free event sponsored by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kaua‘i. IROK is a monthly gathering of representatives from a variety of faith groups from around the island dedicated to harmony and understanding.
Visit www.interfaithroundtableofkauai.org for more information on IROK.