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University of Saint Joseph to Hold Annual Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Victoria Christagau will speak at the University of Saint Joseph's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Submitted photo

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford will honor King’s commitment to peaceful social progress with the theme ‘King of Change: Bravery in the Face of Adversity.

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The University of Saint Joseph will hold its free annual celebration to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, at 7 p.m.

The celebration, open to the public, will take place in the Hoffman Auditorium on USJ’s West Hartford campus at 1678 Asylum Ave. An ice cream social will follow the event.

Join the University of Saint Joseph in honoring and celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work to advance peace and justice through nonviolence. This year’s celebration includes Mississippi gospel harmonies of the Como Mamas; movement and spoken word by members of the USJ community, including the winner of the Change Agent writing contest; and keynote speaker Victoria Christgau, the director of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence (CTCN).

The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, which has trained over 10,000 citizens and civic leaders since its formation in 2007, provides guidelines for conflict reconciliation and coalition building based on the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. CTCN’s curriculum, developed by former King strategist Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., teaches Kingian Nonviolence across socioeconomic lines to create lasting social change. Christgau, CTCN’s founder, is a Master Teaching Artist for the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism, Arts Division, and has led peace residencies in Connecticut schools for over 20 years.

The event will also feature the Como Mamas, three longtime Gospel vocalists from the tiny town of Como, MS. The uplifting spirituality of their songs is powerfully delivered by the intense, gritty voice of Ester Rae Smith, the rich tones of Angela Taylor, and the energetic vocals of Della Daniels. Intertwining the unbridled joy of traditional Gospel with funky blues rhythms, the music of the Como Mamas entertains audiences while unapologetically shouting out a message of hope for a better tomorrow. Since their 2008 debut, they have performed to great acclaim at venues across North America and Europe.

Tickets are free, with RSVP recommended. RSVP online at tickets.usj.edu or by calling the Frances Driscoll Box Office at 860-231-5555.

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