20th Annual MLK Luncheon marks two decades of Dr. King’s legacy

President Mary Moore and the members of the North Shore Black Woman’s Association Inc.  (Advocate photos by Al Terminiello, Jr.)

President Mary Moore and the members of the North Shore Black Woman’s Association Inc. (Advocate photos by Al Terminiello, Jr.)

By Juhi Varma


The North Shore Black Women’s Association held the 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon at its traditional venue, Anthony’s in Malden, on Saturday, January 19. This year’s honorees were Governor Deval Patrick; Chelsea Councillor Calvin Brown; Dr. M. Lee Pelton, president of Emerson College; Dr. Keith Motley, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Boston; Deborah Washington of Patient Care Services at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Margaret Brown, president of the New England Black Nurses Association, Inc. (Governor Patrick was unable to attend since he was in Washington for the presidential inauguration.)

“I congratulate the North Shore Black Women’s Association for their continued leadership in our community and for hosting another successful tribute to Dr. King’s legacy,” said Mayor Gary Christenson about the event. “The 20th anniversary of the MLK, Jr. Luncheon spoke volumes, and the energy in the room was a true example of people coming together to fulfill Dr. King’s vision of making the world a better place.”

Major Joy Labbe of the Malden Chapter of the Salvation Army blessed the event with the following prayer: “Lord, give us this same courage to live by what we profess and believe, and to accept the teachings of Christ as your rule and guide, rather than mere words of inspiration. Dear Father in heaven, may our memories of Dr. King provide us with a vision for true and active discipleship, so that under your grace, we too might have a lasting effect upon this world in which we live, and I pray we would leave a legacy of hope to those who come behind us.”

“Thanks to the North Shore Black Women’s Association for putting on this annual event,” said Council President Neal Anderson, who served as Master of Ceremonies. “At this event, where we honor the champion of the civil rights movement, we saw an outpouring of citizens that represent a real cross section of our community, cutting across lines of gender, race, and color.”

Anderson has been Master of Ceremonies at this annual event for twelve of the past twenty years. He explained, “The organization, in the past, used to invite a keynote speaker and…they would also have guests who would receive an honorarium…a plaque, and so forth. What we found was that the people we were honoring had a story to tell, so it made sense to do it this way instead.”