Somos Uno, a project of Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM), will hold their annual celebration of the life and legacy the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. online this year.
A full day of workshops and conversations is planned for Monday, Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday holiday. The event uses virtual means to learn from history, share culture, and begin to heal across political and ideological divides. Kicking off at 9:30 a.m. with a plenary address from scholar, philosopher, and activist Angela Davis, and closing with a musical celebration at 7 p.m., GEM aims to bring the Beloved Community—a term coined by King referring to a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love for one another—into existence on Zoom.
“We are challenged by unprecedented times, but Dr. King reminds us that we are tied together in a common destiny,” reads the invitation. “Join us as we remind each other of the dream of Dr. King and gain strength together for the year ahead and the work we are called to do.”
Additional hour-long sessions will cover diverse terrain, from upcoming immigration policy reform to story-sharing that gives voice to dreams and dreams deferred. Using the framework of national group Braver Angels, another workshop offers skill-building to understand and overcome the ways bias and belief impact our ability to connect across difference. The session focuses on “restoring civic trust by healing wounds between left and right through constructive, non-polarizing conversations.”
The ethos of the event is reflective of its organizers. Translated as “We Are One,” Somos Uno means, according to their mission statement, “that we stand together, regardless of how you look, what language you speak, who you love, how you worship, or where you were born.” With a particular focus on local organizing around issues of equity and environment, the group pledges to “hold our elected leaders and each other accountable to protect and advance the safety, dignity, and prosperity of each person who lives in this beautiful place, and of Earth herself, our common home.”