Congresswoman salutes Dr. King

WARREN — People made their way through a snowstorm Saturday to attend the Trumbull County A. Philip Randolph Institute’s 32nd annual event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The event featured U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Cleveland, as this year’s keynote speaker.

The Trumbull County chapter is dedicated to developing programs that will extend democracy to those who have been traditionally disenfranchised or discouraged from participating in the political system, strengthening political alliances needed to assure democratic social change and projecting social and economic programs that will improve the lives of all Americans, according to its website.

“This organization is named for a leader, trailblazer and a visionary. Together, Mr. Randolph and Dr. King influenced the successes of the civil rights movement. APRI embodies the dream of Dr. King. We aren’t always going to get it right, but God keeps giving us another chance and we need to use it and not opt out. Mr. Randolph understood the impact of silence and recognized the urgency of now,” Fudge said. “Each of us are products of Dr. King’s dream.”

Every year, the organization reminds the community of Dr. King’s mission and how they can carry on that mission in their everday lives. This year’s theme “get involved, stay involved” was introduced by Dave Green, president of the United Auto Workers Local 1112.

“From 1955 to 1968, Dr. King fought for civil rights, and made more progress towards racial injustice than in the previous 300 years. He did that through peaceful demonstration and action, and he continued to fight. Racism, inequality, injustice, these are things that are never going to go away. I hope they do, but in my lifetime, they will continue. We can’t stop fighting for human rights, we must help raise others up. When we see injustice and walk on by, we are just as guilty as the people creating the injustice. We need to stand up. We have to get involved. This will continue as long as we let it. We can’t give up, we can’t stop fighting,” Green said.

Fudge reiterated the theme in her speech and in her life. She said she does her best to live out Dr. King’s word and mission through her work in Congress.

“This theme is the attitude we must exhibit if we will make true progress in this country. Until we understand and get serious about getting involved, staying involved, we will fail. Dr. King’s words remind us to never turn a blind eye,” Fudge said. “To quote Dr. King, ‘I am here because injustice is here.’ I am going to be everywhere where injustice is. I am proud to be a part of this effort, to be sure that those who have been historically disenfranchised, whether they are people of color, or students or the elderly or the disabled, we are going to prove to the Supreme Court once and for all that they need to be protected.”

Fudge came to Trumbull County because she said she saw injustice here. Two thirds of Trumbull County residents are registered to vote, but only a third do so. She has made it her mission to urge communities to educate themselves and to vote to put people in power who live out Dr. King’s message.

“We must continue to honor the memory of civil rights leaders like Dr. King and Mr. Randolph as we stay alert and stay involved in what’s happening in our communities,” Fudge said.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events

• TODAY — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Mahoning Valley Planning Committee Martin Luther King Commemoration “51 Years Later: Remembering What is Civil, Doing What is Right” community workshop 3:30 p.m. at Elizabeth Baptist Church, 1210 Himrod Ave., Youngstown. Workshop leader is Bishop Tracy Smith Malone of East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

• TODAY– The Trumbull County Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance will hold its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration Service 6 p.m. at The Greater Apostolic Faith Church, 3571 Tod Ave., Warren. The Rev. Gary Frost will be guest speaker.

• MONDAY — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Mahoning Valley Planning Committee Martin Luther King Commemoration “51 Years Later: Remembering What is Civil, Doing What is Right” community workshop on Institutionalized Racism 8:30 a.m. to noon First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Ave., Youngstown. Other topics are health care access and cost, criminal justice, opioid crisis, economic opportunities for all and youth empowerment.

• MONDAY — Youngstown Bishop George Murry will celebrate 12:10 p.m. Mass on Monday at St. Columba Cathedral in honor of Martin Luther King Day.