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Bestselling author to highlight MLK Day celebration in Reston

Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the crowd in Washington at the Civil Rights March in 1963 (via National Archives)

A bestselling author who wrote a book on the cost of racism will be the keynote speaker for Reston Community Center’s 38th annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration.

The main event on Monday, Jan. 16, features Heather McGhee, the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Sum of Us: What Racism Cost Us and How We Can Prosper Together.” The address begins at 11 a.m. at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets are $5 for Restonians and $20 for all others.

“It is vital to ask ourselves every day ‘are we keeping the promise?'” Beverly Cosham, chair of RCC’s Board of Governors, said. “When we commemorate Dr. King’s birthday and recall that he gave his life to achieving justice, we are called again to the fight for universal human rights. Memory of his beliefs and service to others fuel our commitment to making our community and world better for everyone.”

A complete line up of events from RCC is below:

Saturday, January 14

Community Service Projects
9:00 a.m., Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, 12125 Pinecrest Road, Reston
6 years and older — Free

Join friends and neighbors in honoring Dr. King’s legacy by serving your community. As Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” RCC is partnering with the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, Reston Association, Cornerstones and The Closet on community service projects. Indoor projects include sorting and organizing items from The Closet and making bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. There will also be outdoor projects such as cleaning up the natural areas, pathways and hardscapes, weather permitting.

To volunteer, please contact Ha Brock, Volunteer Reston Manager, at 703-435-7986 or habrock@reston.org.

Reston Community Orchestra
Annual Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Words and Music as Diverse as the World of Which He Dreamed
4:00 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods Community Room
All ages — Free

With music and words specifically chosen for this occasion, RCO joins the Reston community in a weekend commemoration of the contributions made by this celebrated American, and his vision of a society free of prejudice and racial division. The program features Reston vocalist Beverly Cosham, students from Al Fatih Academy and other special guests. There will be songs and spirituals known and loved by Dr. King. Tickets available through the RCC Box Office.

Sunday, January 15

Mark G. Meadows: Music and The Movement
2:00 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods — the CenterStage
$15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston

Join Mark G. Meadows & The Movement as they pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mark G. Meadows is a man on a mission to create a unifying sound that breaks through social barriers. There’s something for everyone in his music, which harmonizes jazz, gospel, R&B, hip-hop and rock. Mark uses his artistry to send a positive message of love, joy and hope to his audiences. Get ready to lift every voice and sing with Mark G. Meadows & The Movement. Tickets sold through the RCC Box Office.

Monday, January 16

Keynote Address by Heather McGhee followed by Community Lunch
11:00 a.m.
RCC Hunters Woods: the CenterStage and Community Room
$5 Reston/$20 Non-Reston

A renowned expert on the American economy, Heather McGhee is one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers exploring inequality today. Both her viral TED talk and her instant New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us reveal the devastating true cost of racism – not just for people of color, but for everyone. Deeply stirring, intelligent and compassionate, McGhee’s talks offer us an actionable roadmap during one of the most critical – and most troubled – periods in history. Following the keynote address, a family-style lunch will be provided in the RCC Community Room.

Especially for Youth
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
RCC Hunters Woods
6 – 12 Years Old – Free. Registration Required. Reg. #704750

You may register your school-age child (first to sixth grade) to participate in activities at RCC. Children must be registered in advance and no onsite registration will be available on the day of the event. Children will rotate through a series of activities, including an age-appropriate video and arts and crafts. All activities will be based on the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, January 17

American Red Cross Blood Drive
RCC Hunters Woods
1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Reston Community Center partners with the American Red Cross and Fairfax County NAACP to offer a blood drive. People with minority roots are especially encouraged to participate to increase the blood supply for vulnerable populations. Make your appointment here.

The events are organized by RCC with the cooperation of the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, Cornerstones, The Closet, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn’s office, Reston Association, Reston Community Orchestra and local schools.

Photo via National Archives

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