Now is the Time” Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week begins at LMC

The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week, titled “Now is the Time” has kicked off on Lake Michigan College’s website Monday morning. The event is hosted virtually this year with the help of community partners. Instead of focusing all events into just Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on Monday, LMC and the community have dedicated educational activities, discussions and donation drives throughout the week to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.


Monday, Jan. 18 – Thursday, Jan. 21

Martin’s Dream

A 50-minute, free, on-demand virtual theater performance, appropriate for ages 8+, or grades three through eighth

According to LMC’s website, “Who was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., really? ‘Martin’s Dream’ answers this question and more as it brings this historical figure to lie through the power of story, speech and song.”
Link is available by visiting


Monday, Jan. 18 – Friday, Jan 22

Martin Luther King Fundles (art activity packets)

Krasl Art Center’s free “fundles” (fun bundles) are perfect for children and artistically curious people of all ages. Each fundle includes all the materials and a lesson plan for an art project.

Fundles are available for pickup at Benton Harbor Public Library, Maud Preston Palenske Public Library and Krasl Art Center while supplies last.

More information may be found at, or by calling the Krasl Art Center at (269) 983-0271


Monday, Jan. 18 – Saturday, Feb. 6

United Way of Southwest Michigan 21-day Equity Challenge

This self-guided learning journey is a great way to learn about the history and impacts of racism and how it has shaped the lives of people in southwest Michigan while inspiring participants with resources and tools to build racial equity in their work and lives.

This free, virtual event is offered through United Way of Southwest Michigan, and more information is available on the Lake Michigan College website and


Monday, Jan. 18 – Thursday, Jan. 22

United Way of Southwest Michigan Food Drive

Through United Way, the MLK Celebration Community Committee has organized a community based virtual food drive Jan. 18 to Jan. 22 to meet the immediate needs of our local community members who are struggling this winter.
More information may be found on the LMC website and at


Monday, Jan. 18 — 3 to 5 p.m.

Community Food Truck – Free Food Distribution

City of Benton Harbor Fire Station, 200 E. Wall Street, Benton Harbor, MI, 49022

Spectrum Health Lakeland, United Way of Southwest Michigan, the City of Benton Harbor and Feeding America will host a community food truck in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The food truck will distribute free perishable and non-perishable foods to families from 3 to 5 p.m., while supplies last.

Monday, Jan. 18 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“May We Forever Stand” by Imani Perry – a book discussion group

According to the LMC website, “The twin acts of singing and fighting for freedom have been separable in African American History. ‘May We Forever Stand’ tells an essential part of that story.”

Kris Zook, chair of the visual and performing arts department at LMC will host the event.

This virtual, free event requires a sign up, and will include a link to the Zoom discussion. More information may be found at


Tuesday, Jan. 19 — 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Trivia

This trivia game will focus on MLK Jr.’s life and work.

It is a free, virtual event. After registration, participants will be sent a link to the Zoom and Kahoot platform it is hosted on. Information for registration at


Tuesday, Jan. 19 — 4 to 5:30 p.m.

I See Me, I See You, I See Us: Children’s Books about Diversity

A free, virtual Zoom event will be hosted by three members of the Benton Harbor Public Library.

“It is so important for children to see themselves reflected in the pages of a book, and it is also important that all children have available books that explain and model diversity. We will discuss a few books that stand out in this area,” according to the event on LMC’s website.
Sue Kading, children’s library, Ama AbdulAllah, staff member, and Tiffany Bradley, staff member, are panelists for this Zoom event. Registration information is available at


Tuesday, Jan. 19 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Juneteenth Discussion

In this free, virtual Zoom session, hosts will lead a discussion on the holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the U.S., Juneteenth, and what it means personally to the community and ways to inspire bringing its meaning to life. Registration is available at


Wednesday, Jan. 20 — 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Civil Rights Era Trivia

This trivia game will focus on notable leaders and events of the Civil Rights movement.

It is a free, virtual event. After registration, participants will be sent a link to the Zoom and Kahoot platform it is hosted on. Information for registration at


Wednesday, Jan. 20 — 7 to 7:30 p.m.

Letter from Birmingham Jail – How Far Have We Come?

The Race Relations Council Discussion Group will focus on Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham Jail and address two questions in relation to the letter: 1. How far have we come? 2. How can King’s letter point us in the right direction as we continue to move forward?
Panelists include Charmae Sanders, director of the Start to Finish program at LMC, Harold Bragg, retired history teacher from Coloma High School, and active in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Clark Gilpin, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and Samantha Leonfils, student at Sienna Heights University.

Registration for this free, virtual event is available at


Thursday, Jan. 21 — 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Local Southwest Michigan Trivia

This trivia game will focus on local people and events that were instrumental in the Civil Rights movement.

It is a free, virtual event. After registration, participants will be sent a link to the Zoom and Kahoot platform it is hosted on. Information for registration at


Thursday, Jan. 21 — 3 to 4 p.m.

Student Discussion: What do you believe in NOW?

This free, virtual discussion will use the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” as inspiration for the discussion. Organizers ask that participants register 30 minutes prior to the event.
Links and registration may be found at


Thursday, Jan. 21 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Social Justice: A Matter of Equity

An examination of policies, practices and laws that have a direct impact on people of color regarding housing, the criminal justice system, health and overall prosperity and quality of life. Hosted by the African American History and Literature Gallery, with panelists for Pat Mae, James Atterberry, Sr., Roger Lange and Taurus Montgomery. Panelist bios and background are available with sign up information at

Friday, Jan. 22 — Noon to 5 p.m.

MLK Commemoration Week Blood Drive

Consortium for Community Development, 175 W. Main St., Conference Room, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Spectrum Health Lakeland in partnership with the Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, and in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., invite community members to join in spreading the word about donating blood.
“We strongly prefer appointments and require masks at all times,” the event description said. “All attempting donors will receive a Versiti Garters and a Culver’s coupon for a free pint of frozen custard. In addition, successful donations will be teste for COVID-19 antibodies.”

Those with questions should contact Kathy Ramirez at


Friday, Jan. 22 — 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Grab Bag Trivia

This trivia game will be a mixture of trivia questions about MLK Jr., the Civil Rights movement, and local history questions.

It is a free, virtual event. After registration, participants will be sent a link to the Zoom and Kahoot platform it is hosted on. Information for registration at


Friday, Jan. 22 — 2 to 3 p.m.

Special Announcement – Public Art Project

Sign up at to hear a special announcement regarding a new Benton Harbor-St. Joseph community-wide public arts project.


Friday, Jan. 22 — 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“The Best of Enemies” – a film discussion group

Kyna Johnson, of Kingdom Business ETC, will be the panelist hosting a Zoom discussion group on “The Best of Enemies.”

“This 2019 American drama film is directed and written by Robin Bissell, based on the book ‘The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South,’ by Osha Gray Davidson, which focuses on the rivalry between civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C. P. Ellis,” the event description said.

Sign up for this free, virtual discussion can be found at


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