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North Shore Black Women Assoc.’s annual MLK luncheon canceled again due to COVID-19

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Donations to organization still being accepted

  It is the most well-known event in this region, honoring the most familiar icon of the civil rights movement. But once again this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what would have been the 28th Annual North Shore Black Women’s Association Inc. (NSBWA) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon has been canceled.

  Every year on about the second Saturday in January, two days before the national Martin Luther King Day holiday, the NSBWA holds its annual luncheon, the first coming in 1993. For many years, the luncheon, which customarily draws a packed house at Anthony’s in Malden, has been the premier MLK event in the region.

  Despite the cancellation of the luncheon, the North Shore Black Women’s Association is still accepting donations which go to scholarships for students locally and in the region who are enrolled as college students. More information on the scholarship program can be obtained on the website at www.nsbwa.org.

  The North Shore Black Women’s Association was formed in West Medford in the late 1980s by Iodiah Henry and Johnnie Knight-Wilder with a mission of promoting the values, character and accomplishments of the Black community in this area, as well as committing to provide scholarship support to students who are bettering themselves through the pursuit of a college education.

  The first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon was held in January 1993, and it has become a much-anticipated tradition in Malden and around the region. Many Malden residents and those in public service have been honored through the years at these events.

  The keynote speaker for the last luncheon, which was held in 2019, Malden Judge Benjamin Barnes, expressed well what Dr. King was about, why he is honored each year and how Dr. King’s work laid the foundation for social change today. “It’s not only about the struggle. Keep going forward and keep moving forward. We stand on the shoulders of great individuals,” Judge Barnes said. “We have to teach our children to think like King. Don’t put any limits on how you think, or what people can say, or what you can do. We have the ability in us to do anything we want and travel down any roads we want.”

  Shannon Anderson serves as NSBWA President this year. The other officers are Vice President Joy Bailey, Secretary Gladys Rivera Rogers, Treasurer Barbara Kahn, Assistant Treasurer Jeanette Corbin and additional Board members: Marion Desmond, Sheila Kipnis and Joanne Stroud-Lebeau. Other NSBWA members include Tana Tselpis, Mickey Levine and Robin Lewis. Former Malden City Council President Neal Anderson (Ward 7) has served as master of ceremonies at the event for many years.

  Donations can be made to NSBWA, Inc., PO Box 631, Malden, MA 02148. NSBWA can be contacted via email at nsbwainc@gmail.com.

  “We look forward to celebrating the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in 2022 at our annual MLK Jr. Luncheon. Please join us in keeping the North Shore Black Women’s Association Inc. going by viewing us on Facebook and of course our website at www.nsbwa.org,” the NSBWA Board states on its website.

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