Nonprofit hosting free MLK Day event

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Dr. David Pilgrim is the founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University's Big Rapids campus. He also is the author of “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Objects of Intolerance to Teach Tolerance." Courtesy Arbor Circle

Arbor Circle will commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day this year by hosting a free, virtual event honoring the civil rights leader the week before the holiday.

The organization will host an hourlong presentation titled “Growing Together” by David Pilgrim, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Ferris State University (FSU). The event will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, and explore the impact of the white moderate in communities. The subject was mentioned in King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in April 1963.

Pilgrim is best known as the founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum, which includes an 11,000-piece collection of racist artifacts, at FSU’s Big Rapids campus. He also is the author of “Understanding Jim Crow: Using Objects of Intolerance to Teach Tolerance,” published in 2015.

“We recognize our organization is simultaneously working against racism while benefiting from systems built upon institutional and systemic racism,” said Kristin Gietzen, president and CEO, Arbor Circle. “It is our hope that by further investigating the impact of the white moderate, we are broadening awareness of these issues while owning our responsibility to be actively engaged and antiracist.”

A Q&A will follow Pilgrim’s presentation. The virtual event is free, but registration is required.

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