"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Archive for January, 2012

On January 29, 2012, an annual celebration in the memory of the Revd. Martin Luther King, Jr. will start at 5:15 pm in the vicinity of the Hague, the Netherlands.  The event will feature a keynote speaker, dinner, music, and other notable speakers.


This year’s keynote speaker will be Mr. Paul Rusesabangina who was featured in the movie, “Hotel Rwanda,” and received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.  Mr. Rusesabangina saved 1,200 lives during the horrific genocide in Rwanda which, in his words, “took about one million people in 100 days.”  Mr. Rusesabangina’s efforts provide a bright light of humanity in the midst of the genocide and suffering.


Mr. Rusesabangina has been awarded the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award, the Raoul Wallenberg Medal, and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize.


Another speaker for this year’s event is Revd. Harcourt Klinefelter, a Mennonite pastor who lives in the Netherlands and previously served as Associate Director for Public Relations for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by Revd. King.  Revd. Klinefelter was both a friend and professional colleague of Dr. King.  He has since worked on mediation efforts in the Balkans and he keeps the spirit of civil rights, service, and peace and reconciliation alive through his work.


In addition, Ms. Lois Mothershed Pot will share her personal stories at this event.  She was the first African-American president of the National Christian Students Union, the first African-American student in her university in the United States, and the “big sister” of Thelma Mothershed who was one of the “Little Rock Nine” high school students who were allowed access to Central High School in Little Rock with the help of the National Guard.


As for entertainment, professional singers Roberta Alexander and Adrienne West will perform. The American School of the Hague Jazz Combo and Singers will also provide musical entertainment while their fellow students speak about what Dr. King’s legacy means to them. Ms. Lisa Kierans, Deputy Director of the United States Embassy in the Netherlands, will read a Presidential Proclamation.


This event has been celebrated by the community in the Hague, mostly expatriates and also Dutch nationals, to remember Revd. King’s life and achievements every year since 1985.  An organization called Overseas Americans Remember organizes the event.  This year, the event is also being organized in cooperation with De Boskant in the Hague.  Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. of RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC has attended this event for the past three years, and he finds it very inspirational and educational.


The cost of the event with dinner and drinks is 30 Euros for adults and 15 Euros for children.  If you are interested in attending, RSVP to Mrs. Roberta Enschede at robertaenschede at yahoo dot com.