Cochise County and Cochise College to host special Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events

Cochise County and Cochise College will co-sponsor special events to commemorate the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend.


On Tuesday, January 21, both organizations have invited special guests to read the letter, written by Dr. King, in response to criticism of nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, in April 1963. Dr. King penned the letter after his arrest and imprisonment for participating in the protests.


The first event will be held at 10 a.m. at Cochise County at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 1415 Melody Lane, Building G, Bisbee. The second event will be at 2 p.m. at Cochise College in the Library Horace Steele Conference Room, 901 Colombo Ave., Sierra Vista, with a connection to classroom 1108 on the Douglas campus.


Hosted by the Cochise County Attorney’s Office, the readers at the County event will be Chief Civil Deputy Attorney Britt Hanson, Civil Deputy Attorney Christine Roberts, County Human Resources Director Elda Orduno, County School Superintendent Jacqui Clay, and Lt. Ken Foster of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.


Participating in the reading at Cochise College will be President J.D. Rottweiler, Sierra Vista Student Government Association President Larry White, Douglas Student Government Association President Samantha Gonzales, Douglas Student Government Association Vice President Luis Estrada, and Civil Deputy County Attorney Christine Roberts.


To read the letter takes approximately an hour, and light refreshments will be served after both events.


Hanson said, “The County Attorney’s Office is honored to sponsor the reading of Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and to be co-sponsoring the second reading at Cochise College. We’d also like to thank our guest readers for their participation in this important event.”


Roberts added, “Dr. King was not only a great voice for civil rights, but also for the importance to society of treating our fellow human beings with dignity and respect. His letter from a Birmingham Jail was, and remains, an extraordinarily powerful and moving statement of how we all benefit when everyone is viewed as equal and treated with fairness.”


Jennifer Wantz, Cochise College Director of Community Relations, said she hoped the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend would inspire people to serve their communities.


“This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the MLK Day of Service, a nationwide event in which Americans come together to improve their communities,” she said. “I encourage all who live in Cochise County to serve their community in some way during the holiday weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘Make it a day on, not a day off.’”