WINTHROP — The Winthrop Area Ministers Association will hold its annual Martin Luther King program at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19. This year’s program is titled “Race, Class, and Prisons in Maine: A Local Lens on a National Conversation.” A light breakfast will be provided. The program will feature panelists Lance Tapley, journalist and author, and Grainne Dunne, of ACLU of Maine, according to a news release from the association.

Historian Chris Myers Asch will moderate the discussion and share how the issue of imprisonment relates to the legacy of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. Panelists will address how race and poverty impact incarceration rates and the conditions in Maine prisons. “The Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases focused attention on the issue of race and our criminal justice system,” said the Rev. Christina Cataldo of the Winthrop Congregational Church, UCC. “While it might not be at the forefront of our minds, race and class play a large part in our criminal justice system in Maine.” Rabbi Erica Asch of Temple Beth El in Augusta added, “When we started planning this program in October, we did not know how timely it would be. Given the new national conversation, it seems particularly important to discuss how these issues impact us locally.” After panelist presentations, audience members will have a chance to ask questions and engage in discussion.

The program will be held at the Parish Hall of St. Frances Xavier Catholic Church, 20 Lake St., in Winthrop. It will end at 10:30 a.m. The program is co-sponsored by the Capital Area Multifaith Association. All are invited to join us in honoring the legacy of Dr. King and learning how we can carry it into our lives and nation today.

The event is free and open to the public.

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