MLK Celebration Committee


  • Bernard Greene, Chair
  • Ann Kamensky
  • Rob Daves

  • Bobbie Knable
  • Christiana Akins

2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Event 

Large Image of MLK Sketching and Information for January 17, 2022

Save the Date! Please join Brookline's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee for Brookline's celebration of the life and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at 3pm Monday, January 17, 2022. This year our event will be virtual and thanks to a generous donation of production work from the team at Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) you can access the Premiere on BIG's Civic Channel 3 on RCN and Comcast and live on BIG's online channel The recorded event will also be available to stream afterwards at: This year's event is generously sponsored by the Brookline Community Foundation, in collaboration with the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations. 

"Our Voting Rights: The Struggle Continues "

This year's program will feature Professor Robert L. Tsai as the Keynote Speaker. Robert L. Tsai is Professor of Law at Boston University and an expert in constitutional law and history. He is the author of three books, including Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation (Norton 2020). He has appeared on Meet the Press, Morning Joe, and ABC News and his essays can be found in New York Review of Books, Politico, Washington Post, and Boston Globe. You can learn more about Professor Robert L. Tsai at

The program will also feature original poetry performance from Literary Performer and Author, Regie Gibson, and a poetry reading from Brookline Poet Laureate, Jennifer C. Barber, as well as a video compilation of Remote Learning Academy students reading their winning submissions of a collaborative contest held in March 2020.

Also featured will be music and inspirational words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Event Specifics: 

Professor Robert L. Tsai, Professor of Law at Boston University and an expert in constitutional law and history, will be the Keynote Speaker. He will remind us of Dr. King’s focus on voting rights and he will challenge us to keep up the effort.

• Literary performer and activist Regie Gibson will deliver “Assume the Position,” a stirring original poetry performance.

• Brookline's Poet Laureate, Jennifer C. Barber, will recite a piece that commemorates the voting struggle of the 60’s.

• Brookline elementary students (from the Remote Learning Academy) will read their contest-winning responses to Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb."

Rabbi William Hamilton from Congregation Kehillath Israel will describe the special Brookline history of Dr. King and Rabbi Abraham Heschel.

Representative Jake Achincloss will give us an update on voting rights legislation.

This event is free. For more information or for any questions, please contact Caitlin Starr at

On MLK Day, you can also participate in a virtual Brookline Day of Service Project:

Inspo:Expo and Welcome Blanket Presents: Who’s Welcome in Brookline?

MLK Day (Monday, January 17), 11am, Zoom

We see the “everyone is welcome here” yard signs. How does it play out in practice? Join Inspo:Expo and Welcome Blanket Brookline’s Hadassah Margolis in a conversation on the status of immigration in Brookline. Four panelists will share their own experiences as immigrants in Town, and guests Select Board Vice-Chair Raul Fernandez and Brookline Library’s Lily Weitzman will discuss local policies and grassroots activism to make our community open to all (the successes and the obstacles). Come learn how you can get involved.


· Suzette Abbott, from Apartheid South Africa

· Nour Alhusaini, from Syria

· Homa Sarabi-Daunais, from Iran

· Bishnu Tamang, from Nepal

Use the link here to register in advance and up to the start of the program:

For more information, email Hadassah at

2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Event 

MLK Day is not only a recognition of Martin Luther King’s martyrdom in the struggle for racial equity but it is a reminder of how far we still have to go to achieve equality. This year’s program included several different groups, each discussing issues of race and social justice from different perspectives. The quality of these sessions and their potential for enriching future Town discussions and understanding of these issues has led the Committee to extend the length of the program.

If you would like to see parts of the program more than once or share some elements with family and friends, you can directly access each segment here: 

"Pursuing Social Justice"

Our 2021 program featured a Moderated Conversation on “Philosophical Mentoring and the Impact of Words on a Generation”. The conversation is hosted by Nick Bates, the Assistant Director for Thurman Center Networks in the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. His work focuses on educating the community about Howard Thurman and overseeing strategic partnerships that build on Thurman’s philosophy of Common Ground. The panelists for this conversation are Rev. Andrew E. Kimble and Jessica Hamilton.

Rev. Andrew E. Kimble is from Los Angeles, CA, and currently resides in Roxbury, MA. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Morehouse College in 2014. For the next two years, he worked for a top national law firm as a conflicts analyst. In 2019, he graduated with a Master of Divinity from the Boston University School of Theology. Alongside his ministerial responsibilities at the historic Charles Street AME Church, Andrew is the assistant director of alumni and donor relations at the Boston University School of Theology. In his free time, Andrew enjoys listening to jazz, talking with friends and strangers, running outdoors, and visiting the used book section in local bookstores.

Jessica Hamilton is a third-year Master of Divinity Student on the Global and Community Engagement track at Boston University School of Theology. Her studies are focused on the intersection of public policy, ethics, and spirituality and she is interested in understanding what bearing this intersection has on emerging conversations of social equity. In addition to her studies, Jessica serves as a Graduate Assistant at BU's Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground and was a 2019 recipient of the Rappaport Institute’s Public Policy Fellowship. Prior to seminary, Jessica spent ten years working in health care policy. She is a graduate of Northeastern University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

The program also featured Brookline High School students and local college students discussing Social Justice and how the events of this past year have impacted them. This group conversation is hosted by Harvey Bravman, Filmmaker and creator of and the Brookline Youth Awards.

Virtual Panel Discussion of "MLK/FBI"

Virtual Panel Discussion of "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin"

Congressman John Lewis, a valiant stalwart of the Civil Rights Movement, passed away on Friday, July 17, 2020.

See Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker's tribute and the NY Times obituary.

Virtual Panel Discussion of "John Lewis: Good Trouble"

Co-presented by the MLK Day Celebration Committee, and the Coolidge Corner Theatre, the free special event featured Globe Metro columnist Adrian Walker and State Representative Nika Elugardo.  

MLK Day Celebration January 20, 2020

On Monday, January 20, 2020, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline residents came together to celebrate Martin Luther King,Jr. 

The program: "Roxbury to Brookline: One Family's Experience" featured Keynote Speaker, Ruth Ellen Fitch. The program included poetry, music and the inspirational words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It also featured: poet/performer Regie Gibson, the Brookline High School Testostatones, the Brookline High School Glee Club, and Brookline Poet Laureate Zvi A. Sesling.

 We would like to thank all those who participated in any of the Brookline Day of Service Projects -- More Than Words Cafe book drive and the Welcome Blanket "Knit In" presented by Insp:Expo.

If you attended the event and would like to provide feedback, please feel free to click here and complete the evaluation form. 

2020 Program 

From Old-heads to Young-bloods

A Conversation on Race with Dr. Plummer - July 2019

Reflections on Race - Brookline Then and Now

MLK Day 2019

On Monday, January 21, 2019, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline's residents joined together to celebrate the life and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

This year's program featured Brookline: Facing Civil Rights, a documentary film conceptualized by the MLK Jr. Celebration Committee and Produced by R. Harvey Bravman. The documentary highlights recollections of Civil Rights in the 50s, 60s and 70s by six Brookline residents. After the film, there was discussion with Boston Globe Spotlight Editor, Patricia Wen. In 2018, Patricia oversaw a seven-part series on race issues in Boston. The program also featured poet/performer Regie Gibson, Brookline Poet Laureate Zvi Sesling, and Brookline High School Acapella Group, The Testastatones.  

We would like to thank all those who participated in any of the Brookline Day of Service Projects -- a Brookline Food Pantry food drive, More Than Words Cafe book drive and Insp:Expo.  

If you attended the event, please take a moment to complete an Evaluation! Thank you!


Each year MLK Day provides an opportunity for Brookline residents to remember a hero martyred in the effort to achieve equality in America. Despite his sacrifice and that of many others who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, and, despite the progress made in the nearly 50 years since his death, full equality has not been achieved.

Brookline’s MLK Day is an expression of the Town’s commitment to racial equality. During the year, the Committee will sponsor and plan events that bring us together to celebrate our diversity, to learn from one another, to better understand how racial inequality divides us, and, most importantly, how we may work together to achieve the goal of equality.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

Most Recent Agenda | View All Agendas and Minutes

Helpful Resources

2017 MLK Day

Keeping the Promise: Brookline's Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

On January 16, 2017, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline's residents joined together to celebrate the life and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event featured inspiring poetry and several engaging speakers; Rick Pinderhughes, the Director of Programs at Vision, Inc., a non-profit training and consulting organization specializing in diversity and inclusion, Rahsann Hall, the Director of the Racial Justice Program for the Massachusetts ACLU, Daniel O’Leary, the Chief of the Brookline Police Department, and Andrew Bott, the Superintendent of Public Schools of Brookline.

We would like to thank all those who participated in one or both of our Brookline Day of Service Projects co-sponsored with Brookline PAX-- a Brookline Food Pantry food drive and the More Than Words Cafe book drive.

2016 MLK Day

People's Cafe Fundraiser, 2/6/2016 (PDF)

MLK Day 2016

On January 18, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline's citizens joined together in celebration of the life and values of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The one and one half hour event featured inspiring poetry and an engaging keynote speaker, Northeastern University Law School Professor Susan Maze-Rothstein.

Professor Maze-Rothstein attended Devotion Elementary and Brookline High and spent most of her life as a resident of Brookline. She is director of the Legal Skills in Social Context Social Justice Program at Northeastern University School of Law and board president of Our Restorative Justice, a juvenile court diversion program. From her experience as a legal scholar and a Brookline resident, Professor Maze-Rothstein spoke about the deeply ingrained but mostly invisible ways that racism affects all of us. She asked the audience to consider the experience of others and to use the precepts of restorative justice to heal racial transgressions.

As “homework” Professor Maze-Rothstein has posted two papers, "White By Law (PDF)" and "White Fragility (PDF)," as recommended reading. Further information about restorative justice is available at the Center for Restorative Justice and Our Restorative Justice.

We would like to thank all those who participated in one or both of our Brookline Day of Service Projects co-sponsored with Brookline PAX-- a More Than Words Cafe book drive and a Brookline Food Pantry food drive.