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Invitation to serve on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance Committee

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance Committee of Arlington is passionate about honoring our slain civil rights leader, and proud of the annual celebration that we orchestrate each January.  


We find distinguished speakers to share their insights into MLK and his relevance to our ongoing fight for civil rights. We elicit the thoughtful blessings of local ministers, rabbis, priests, and imams. And we attract musicians to lift our spirits with rousing melodies, as song and rhythm uniquely can, at each commemoration. We also recognize exemplary Arlingtonians who focus on civil rights in their daily life. Lastly, we raise money for college scholarships, and for school and community initiatives in line with the goals of MLK. 


The roster of luminaries that we have attracted over our 35 years includes Andrea Cabral, Deval Patrick, Patricia Smith, Byron Rushing, Jean McGuire, Mel King, Kristen Greenidge, Peniel Joseph, Tanisha Sullivan, Michael Curry and Rahsaan Hall. Then there were less well-known men, like the 92-year-old sharecropper Emerson Stamps, and factory-worker-turned-poet-and-distinguished-professor Afaa Weaver who gave memorable speeches. 


Our current leadership deftly navigated us through the pandemic, magnified our online presence, and improved our scholarship application process, all while pursuing impressive careers and meeting other obligations. 


Current Chair Crystal Haynes and Vice Chair/ Secretary (two separate roles we've had to combine temporarily) Jillian Harvey are stepping down, as is our stalwart Treasurer Roberta Lasky. We seek new members and potential leaders to carry on our invaluable contribution to Arlington society. First and foremost, we need a new Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer.


Please read the job descriptions below to learn how we divvy up the work. Current founding members like Pearl Morrison will continue to help in finding speakers and music for our 2025 celebration, and to provide guidance while new members get acclimated.

Would you like to join us, or do you know someone who might? Please help us to find new talent, so we can uphold our commitment to shine the light on Martin Luther King, Jr. in Arlington Town Hall for years to come.

We hope to hear from you very soon. Please contact us through this link: 



The MLK, Jr. Birthday Observance Committee of Arlington 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance Committee Officers


Duties include: setting the yearly agenda for the board, overseeing election/appointment of new officers, working with committee to secure the speaker and musicians for the yearly MLK event, overseeing website content, maintaining connections with town boards and officials, running regular committee meetings. Note: All featured MLK Day speakers must be from the African American community.


Duties include: assisting Chair with duties as needed, posting relevant updates on social media and electronic and physical town bulletins, delegating responsibilities for refreshments and staffing the MLK event, promoting the event on social media and other streams, handling/delegating creation and printing of programs.


Duties include: taking minutes of all meetings, archiving past minutes, filing any non-financial related paperwork, drafting sponsorship letters, mailing sponsorship letters, mailing correspondence to other parties, managing P.O. Box, keeping a database of all sponsorship contacts and volunteers, completing the state-mandated 501c3 annual report, working with the treasurer to complete necessary reports, writing thank you letters for donations.


Duties include: filing all related 501c3 paperwork including Form PC, receiving all payments and donations, managing bank accounts, making all deposits, managing all expenses and payments including website, signage, fees related to yearly event, scholarship payouts, keeping account of all digital and physical invoices, working with the secretary to complete the committee-specific annual report, providing financial statements at committee meetings.


Duties include: maintaining jotform account, advertising scholarship, collecting applications to present to the board, coordinating distribution of scholarships with Arlington High School, working with METCO coordinator in identifying applicants, printing/designing scholarship certificates to present at Senior Night, attending awards night to hand out scholarships. Note: All scholarship recipients must be African American.


Duties include: archiving all event-related materials, i.e. programs and display materials, and keeping a record of workflows.

Note: The same person cannot hold more than one office.   

Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.

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Phone: 781-316-3250

By Mail: 27 Maple Street

Arlington, MA 02476


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