BANGOR – In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, people enjoyed dinner together in Bangor and learned about local groups working toward social justice.
“To get anything done for the collective good we all sort of have to overcome differences,” said Casey Hess, an AmeriCorps volunteer who helped organize the event.
About a dozen area non-profits joined together for Monday evening’s event at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor.
The various groups were united by a shared mission toward equality and human rights.
“I hope that participants that aren’t involved in the tabling get to network with their local nonprofit organizations that have that mission of social justice,” said Hess.
Monday’s dinner and speaker series was put on by AmeriCorps volunteers from Husson University, Unity College, and the University of Maine.
They said they wanted a way for the community to break bread together and learn about the local groups continuing MLK’s work.
For others, Monday was a night to simply enjoy each other’s company.
“It means a lot because my family is here with me, friends here,” said one young man attending.
The social justice groups ranged from Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, to the local chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign.
The leaders of those groups said there are still people working to tackle issues like racism and materialism. And making sure Martin Luther King’s message of equality continues after the holiday is over.
“Work on things as a fusion movement,” said Katie Thiesen, a coordinating committee member for Poor People’s Campaign, “efforts can be made to work on justice together and not just stay in our silos but come together as a community.”