Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration goes virtual

LIHU‘E — Because of the COVID-19 medical crisis, the Interfaith Roundtable of Kaua‘i will take its the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration to the airways instead of its annual community event.

A special MLK 2021 video produced by local videographer Dr. Robert Zelkovsky is currently airing on the IROK website and the IROK Facebook page.

“Anyone can watch the MLK video from the safety of their living room for free at any time,” said Steve “Stream” Backinoff of the IROK.

“An individual can simply use their computing device to stream the video off the internet on the IROK website interfaithroundtableofkauai.org and the IROK Facebook page facebook.com/interfaithroundtableofkauai.”

Additionally, the video will be aired twice on Ho‘ike Kaua‘i Community Television, channel 54, on Monday from 10 a.m. to noon and 9 to 11 p.m.

Tom Lindsey opens the video with the traditional sounding of the pu in the Bamboo Moon Video Studios compilation of contributions in music, dance, historic footage and spoken pieces from more than 50 people.

Musical and dance segments feature performances by Love Tribe, Sacred Earth Choir, Billy Holiday, Stream, Maronda Rice and Sophia Rising, Barbara Davis, Marion Anderson, Nina Simone, Sharon West, Kaua‘i Voices, the Voice Weavers Women’s Empowerment Choir, a hula presentation led by kumu Mauli Cook, and a mime performance by Janet Carrafa.

Kumu hula Puna Kalama Dawson will be joined by the late U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga and various IROK members in presenting the historical and educational portion of the video that feature a lively pop-music backing, an animated biography of King, and excerpts from various King speeches and perspectives on King teachings.

“The holiday provides a unique opportunity to teach young people to counter hatred and fear without resorting to violence, and to get into the habit of asking themselves, ‘What is the most loving way I can resolve this conflict?’” said Corretta Scott King, King’s widow.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated himself to ensuring equal rights, dignity and justice through non-violent means to all people, and that all people could live together in peace. The national, state and county holiday honoring King’s birthday is on the third Monday in January, and was established in 1983 by the U.S. Congress and President Ronald Reagan.

The IROK celebrates the holiday by offering a free annual public event. The IROK promotes peaceful interaction and cooperation among people of various religions, spiritual paths and philosophies.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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