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Newton to hold 54th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration Jan. 17

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addressed marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 1963.Associated Press/File 1963

The city of Newton will host its 54th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration on Monday, Jan. 17, as a virtual event.

This year’s program is inspired by King’s final work, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?,” which was published in 1967. The celebration, which will be held virtually, begins at 9:30 a.m.

The program includes a sermon by the Rev. Alicia Marie Johnson, assistant pastor of Myrtle Baptist Church in West Newton, and remarks from city leaders, including Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, Superintendent David Fleishman, and Kathy Lopes, the schooldistrict’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The celebration also will include musical performances by Katani Sumner, The Jubilee Singers, The Troubadours, and The Lovetones, the city said.

Registration in advance is required to attend by filling out a form available at People also can click on the link “Newton’s 54th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration’' on the city’s homepage for more information.

John Hilliard can be reached at