The Transition State of America: Union Project’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration

Monday, January 16, 2017 from 2 - 7 pm
A free, all ages Event

How has the election awakened us to create a new America, one that is more inclusive, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. imagined 50 years ago?
Join us to share your thoughts and connect with people from different races, economic backgrounds, generations, and sectors. We will use creative and interactive activities to engage participants in gaining new perspectives that equip them to take action towards building a more inclusive community.
Beginning at 2:00pm, community leaders Aerion Abney, Jay Oriola, Michelle King, Jonathan Reyes, and more will lead workshops to engage participants in deeper conversation through the arts. 
1:30 pm Doors Open

2:00 - 2:30 pm

Warm Up: Welcoming Conversation Facilitate by Community Leader Aerion Abney

Listen, share, and think with community leaders to warm up for a day of activities and thoughtful conversations alongside people from different races, economic backgrounds, generations, and sectors.  

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Think Up: Children's Hands-on Activities

Children may participate in any of the program activities throughout the event or visit the studio for hands-on activities led by teaching artists.

2:30 - 5:00 pm

Each workshop has three 45-minutes sessions:

Creative and Interactive workshops lead by Community members

Design Up: Beloved Communi-Tees with Michelle King and Abbie Adams

Express your thoughts and feelings through words and design a T-Shirt you can wear. Through this creative and interactive activity, design your own T-Shirt with words and images to invite others into a dialogue about social change. Together we will build and wear our "Communi-Tees".

2:30 - 3:15 pm
3:20 - 4:05 pm
4:10 - 4:55 pm

Look Up: Find New Perspectives Through Art with Jonathan Reyes

What is the truth in what we see? Together, all participants will observe artwork along with prompts and guided questions to discuss what they think they are seeing. This activity will challenge us to consider new perspectives and hold multiple viewpoints at once. This mini-workshop will bring in artwork from the Braddock Carnegie Library Art Lending Collection (BCLALC).


Speak Up: Think Out Loud by Turning Your Feelings into Poetry with Emiola Jay Oriola

Are you trying to express your feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, empathy, and love? Join us in this mini-workshop with spoken word artist Jay Oriola to explore your feelings and turn them into poetry. But more importantly, is to voice those feelings out loud. Participants will be encouraged to speak their words out loud twice, first to hear it, then to be transformed by it.

5:00 pm

Sing Up: Gather for a Sing Along with Anqwenique Wingfield

Join our voices together for a community sing along before we break bread together as a reminder that we are all part of the same human family.

Meet Up: Message from Union Project's Executive Director Jeffrey Dorsey

5:30 pm

Eat Up: Culminating Community Meal prepared by Conflict Kitchen
Food brings friends, families, and communities together. Think about what we are eating, who we are eating with, and how the food connects with our lives in an intimate and essential way. Dinner will be served by Conflict Kitchen, a restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Break bread with your neighbor with food of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and discuss the land we share and the day's activities.

Dinner Menu:
Onädatgos [Gluten free and Vegan] - Wild greens lightly dressed with blueberry vinaigrette

Jöhehgöh [Gluten free and Vegan] - Salad of corn, beans and squash in a citrus vinaigrette

Wadesai'dö:ndak [Gluten free and Vegan] - Sweet maple baked beans

Oshöwe:' ojisgwa' [Gluten free] - Crispy white corn mush with salt pork and root vegetable hash

Gahgwahgi:'da:h - Fry bread White Corn Cookies Made with roasted corn flour from the Iroquois White Corn Project

Okdeahgi'  [Gluten free and Vegan] - Root tea

Conflict Kitchen's current meal consists of both traditional and contemporary Haudenosaunee small plates, the meal introduces the guests to the food, culture, and politics of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, the Haudenosaunee is a league of six Indigenous nations located primarily in upstate New York with historic ties to Western Pennsylvania.

Looking for even more to do? We will also be out in the community providing hands-on clay activities at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, the Mattress Factory, and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater.

Union Project is committed to being accessible to all. Please email Michelle Clesse at to let us know what accommodations we can make to ensure your experience is positive. Union Project is wheelchair accessible via the side door on Stanton Avenue.

The event is supported by Three Rivers Community Foundation and sponsored by Bridgeway Capital and JENDOCO Construction Corporation. Union Project is supported in part by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

Three Rivers Community Foundation Bridgeway Capital JENDOCO Construction Corporation Allegheny Regional Asset District