Oahu resident will speak about experience in Selma during Civil Rights Era

LIHUE — Kip Goodwin hopes Kauai residents will take a moment this weekend to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It’s important to remember what he did and relate it to today’s events,” Goodwin said. “We remember Dr. King for being a man of peace, working to settle conflicts nonviolently. And we remember him for being a proponent for civil rights, not just for African Americans, but for everyone.”

The Kauai Alliance for Peace and Social Justice, an organization dedicated to educating people about local and global social issues, will be celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday at the Lihue Neighborhood Center on Sunday.

John Witeck, an Oahu resident who went to Selma, Alabama, to join Martin Luther King Jr. in helping with voter registration, will be speaking about his experience.

His documentary, “Answering the Call,” will also be presented.

The hour-long film is set in Selma and Washington D.C. It features Congressman John Lewis, who helped organize the march from Selma to Montgomery.

The free event is from 3 to 6 p.m.

There will be music and a chance for people to talk story about Dr. King and what he means to them. There will also be a question and answer session with Witeck.

In 1967, Witeck became a draft register and anti-war activist. He joined local causes and founded the University of Hawaii Students for a Democratic Society, the Labor Community Alliance, Youth Action, Inc. and Hawaii People’s Fund.

Goodwin expects 50 people will attend the birthday celebration.

“I hope people will redirect themselves to nonviolent efforts to make the world a more peaceful place and bring an end to the seemingly endless wars,” Goodwin said. “We’re so conditioned to wars that it’s as if there’s no other way to solve problems than a military solution. I hope people will be reinvigorated to do whatever is in their hearts to bring back peace.”

LIHUE — The annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day will take place at the Lihue Neighborhood Center at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Participants will walk around Isenberg Park, with the theme “Inspiring the Leaders of Tomorrow.” The celebration targets children and young people to grow up knowing how to resolve conflicts withoutviolence and to stand up for victims of bullying.

After the walk, participants are invited for refreshments and to hear guest speakers Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. and Sabra Kauka, along with an introduction into the life of Dr. King.

A free lunch will be served at noon.

The public is invited to the free event sponsored by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai.

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