A woman who ran for Congress in 2018 will be the keynote speaker at the city's annual Martin Luther King Day celebration.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud is a Western Massachusetts lawyer with a focus on domestic relations and civil rights. Two years ago, she launched an unsuccessful primary run against U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. The Muslim woman and mother of seven is active in the Massachusetts Commission for the Status of Women and was recognized as a top Massachusetts lawyer in 2016. She was invited to the White House's "Celebrating and Protecting America's Tradition of Religious Pluralism" ceremony in 2015

This year's theme in New Bedford  is “Only Light Can Drive out Darkness.”

Mayor Jon Mitchell and the City of New Bedford are joining with the Greater New Bedford Area Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee to welcome the public to attend the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Remembrance Celebration. It will be held on Sunday, January 19 at 4:00 p.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church at 133 School Street.

“The city’s annual day of remembrance celebration to honor the legacy of Dr. King is a time for all of us to reflect on his message of peace, understanding and empathy, which unites all Americans,” said Mitchell.

Dr. King was an integral part of the American civil rights movement before he was assassinated in 1968. His legacy lives on in the fight for equality, civil rights and racial justice in the U.S. and beyond.

Other program highlights include the SouthCoast Children’s Chorus, the Deliverance Gospel Choir, and the announcement of an essay contest winners. The essay contest has been a special feature in the program over the past 13 years.

All are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Marci Pina-Christian or the Department of Community Services at (508) 979-1464.

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