MLK Jr. celebrations focus on NH Franco-American history, environmental justice

December 27. 2017 8:50PM
Dr. Sylvio Dupuis, former Manchester mayor and president and chief executive of the Catholic Medical Center, will be the master of ceremonies at 2018's “Keeping the Dream Alive” Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader file photo)

MANCHESTER — Next year’s “Keeping the Dream Alive” Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will highlight New Hampshire’s rich Franco-American history and feature Canada’s minister of heritage as the keynote speaker, organizers said.

The Hon. Melanie Joly will address the theme “like a good neighbor, Canada has always been there,” according to the National Cultural Diversity Awareness Council.

The Jan. 15 event will showcase the unique relationship between the United States and Canada.

Dr. Sylvio Dupuis, former Manchester mayor and president and chief executive of the Catholic Medical Center, will be the master of ceremonies. One of the special guests will be Adele Boufford Baker, a second-generation Franco-American and former executive director of the Manchester-based Franco-American Centre.

This is the 16th year for the National Cultural Diversity Awareness Council, which touts corporate sponsorships and said its mission is to increase communication, understanding and respect for people of diverse backgrounds.

The $45-a-plate event will be at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester and starts at 5 p.m. on the holiday. Sponsorships and additional information are available at www.ncdac.org.

Each year, Manchester hosts two Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

The Martin Luther King Community Celebration organization — a coalition of religious, labor and progressive groups — has put on a potluck celebration for the last 35 years. Its celebration is scheduled for St. George Greek Orthodox Church on Jan. 15.

Its program will focus on environmental justice and the keynote speaker is the Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, the minister for ecological justice at Bethel AME Church in Boston.


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