January 20, 2014
In celebration of the legacy of the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the city of Melrose will hold its
Annual Martin Luther King Day Dinner on Monday, January 20, at the First
Congregational Church in Melrose.
The event is sponsored by the Mayor’s Office, the Melrose Human Rights Commission, the Melrose Clergy Association, the Melrose Alliance Against Violence, the Melrose Chamber of Commerce, the Melrose League of Women Voters and Hallmark Health.
This year’s speaking program will feature a presentation from Brigid Alverson, a Melrose resident and former Human Rights Commission Chair. Ms. Alverson will profile the life and work of Alice L. White, a Congregationalist missionary in the American South during the late 19th and early 20th Century. Alverson, who currently works as an assistant to Mayor Robert Dolan, was a former local news reporter who has researched and written about White’s influence. White established a vocational school for black girls in Montgomery Alabama, and many of her students went on to become active in the Civil Rights Movement. Her most famous student was Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks who said of the school, “I learned that I should not set my sights lower than anybody because I was black. We were taught to be ambitious and to believe that we could do what we wanted in life.”
Alice White moved to Melrose in the latter part of her life and was a member of the First Congregational Church and a volunteer at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. The event is free and open to the public, beginning at 5 p.m. with a potluck dinner. The family program, which includes Alverson’s presentation, as well as a short music program, will start at 6 p.m