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Dream Week

The timing for Martin Luther King Jr. Day can be a little awkward for our publication. Because we come out on Wednesday, we are either really early or too late. But that doesn’t mean that we skip it.

Next week brings us MLK Dream Week, presented by STEP AmeriCorps, Penn College, Lycoming College, the Central PA Food Bank, the Lycoming County United Way, the United Churches of Lycoming County, and the NAACP Lycoming Tri-County.

The week will be filled with events to honor the legacy of the late Dr. King.

This year’s theme will be “It Starts With Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate.”

On January 15th, there are several events that you can participate in, including the Kids’ Dream Week Storytime, which is for families with children ages birth through 2nd grade at the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. 4th St., Williamsport. The Storytime will be from 10:00-11:15 a.m. in the 3rd floor Lowry Room. There will also be a Dream Read for teens and adults at the library from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The largest event of the week will be the STEP AmeriCorps Peace Walk. This will begin at the corner of 3rd and Markets streets in Williamsport and will begin at 1:00 p.m.

There will be free parking for these events in the lot behind the library.

On January 17th, a Poverty Simulation/Dinner & Discussion will be hosted by the Central PA Food Bank and Penn College. This will be held at the PCT Field House, 209 College Ave., Williamsport, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

January 19th features a Food Prep Service Project at New Covenant United Church of Christ, located at 202 E. 3rd St., Williamsport from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

January 20th will be Message & a Meal with Sojourner Truth Ministries. This will be from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at 501 High St., Williamsport.

There are plenty of service opportunities this week, including January 16th at the YWCA, all week at Sojourner Truth, and all week at the Loyalsock Childcare Center/Eastern Lycoming YMCA.

You can register for these events at

According to the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “On November 2nd, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the King Holiday Bill into law, designating the third Monday in January a federal holiday in observance of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The legislation to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first introduced just four days after his assassination on April 4th, 1968. Still, it would take 15 years of persistence by civil rights activists for the holiday to be approved by the federal government and an additional 17 years for it to be recognized in all 50 states. Today, it is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their communities.

“Despite the national fervor inspired by King’s death, the bill to create a holiday in his honor languished for years with limited congressional support. However, Democratic Michigan Congressman John Conyers, who first proposed the bill on April 8th, 1968, was not deterred. He continued to reintroduce the legislation every year with the support of the Congressional Black Caucus, which Conyers helped found. ‘To me, [King] is the outstanding international leader of the 20th century without ever holding office. What he did — I doubt anyone else could have done.’”

This MLK Day, let’s all remember the history of Dr. King, the advancements he made in Civil Rights, and the advancements yet to be made and do something good for our community.