TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Department of State’s Commission on National and Community Service commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination at an event in Princeton titled, “The King Year: Reflection in Action.” Members of the New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission, Department of State and AmeriCorps members organized the significant program and provided a meaningful spotlight on the importance of volunteerism and service.
“Today we are here to honor our luminary drum major for justice, Dr. King, on the 50th anniversary of his tragic assassination. It is an opportune moment to pay our respects, reflect on Dr. King’s enduring wisdom, and together plot a path for a future where—in his immortal words—“the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice.” We highlight the values of protest, rigorous debate and recognize civil disobedience as an integral part of our democratic system,” said guest speaker Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “In honoring Dr. King, we also look to celebrate the important work of our AmeriCorps members, who every day continue his invaluable legacy. This vocation and the teachings of Dr. King are unmistakably linked.”
During today’s momentous day of reflection, participants enjoyed panels and breakout sessions ranging from topics on conflict resolution and poverty to “King Year Calendar of Service” and the world-famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
“Perhaps nothing touches the lives of so many people in such a profound way than our effort to expand and strengthen New Jersey’s long-standing tradition of volunteerism,” said Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service, Rowena Madden. “Housed within the Department of State, the Governor's Office of Volunteerism and AmeriCorps are fully-committed to increasing awareness of the need for volunteers statewide. In every community, across all ages and socio-economic groups, volunteering meshes generations and helps create healthy, integrated and secure communities. In honoring Dr. King, the AmeriCorps program is part of our great American tradition of civic engagement and volunteerism.”
“As Secretary of State, it is my promise that we too are moving Dr. King’s legacy forward by standing on the front line to ensure that our citizens have full participation in the democracy of this republic, and to ensure that all are treated fairly. In my role as chief election official for the state, I commit to ensuring that Dr. King’s legacy is fulfilled by making certain that every citizen’s right to vote and participate in elections is protected and maximized,” added Secretary Way.