Justice Matters to host virtual event for MLK Jr. Day; Van Go will give out free meals

photo by: AP File Photo

Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta in 1960. (AP Photo)

Local activist group Justice Matters will host a free virtual event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day aimed at bringing light to injustices in the community and how they can be combated.

Deacon Godsey, the co-president of Justice Matters, said the group hosted a series of listening sessions in the fall of 2020 where hundreds of community members gathered in Zoom meetings to talk about what issues and injustices they see in the Lawrence community. The Justice Matters event will discuss three of those injustices — and provide evidence-based solutions.

The Zoom will cover the topics of homelessness, “racial disparities in discipline within Lawrence Public Schools” and “contributing to mass incarceration by misuse of the jail,” a press release stated. There will be three featured speakers during the event: Edith Guffey, conference minister for the United Church of Christ Kansas-Oklahoma Conference; Julia Orlando, director of the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center in Hackensack, New Jersey; and Eric Galbreath, a pastor at Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church.

“One of the things that we learn from Martin Luther King Jr.’s life is that for justice to be done, it has to be done communally and it has to be done through action and effort,” said Godsey, who is also the lead pastor at Vintage Church. “It’s a perfect day to take the opportunity to get educated on places where there are injustices in our city and to explore the hope of how justice is being reached for.”

The virtual event will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday. People can register at bit.ly/3pSe7rD.

Also on Monday, Van Go will be giving out a free community meal.

Van Go’s 18- to 24-year-old employees, with the help of local chef Raven Naramore and in partnership with Sunrise Project, will prepare 150 free pasta lunches for the Lawrence community.

The meals, which will include meat and vegetarian options, will be given out on a first come, first served basis starting at 11:30 a.m. in Van Go’s parking lot at 715 New Jersey St.

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast will also occur on Monday, and the public can watch virtually. The keynote speaker will be Anthony Lewis, the superintendent of Lawrence Public Schools. Those interested in viewing the event may watch live on Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club’s Youtube page, Jayhawk Rotary. The event will begin at 8 a.m.


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