Desmond-Fish to Host 20th MLK, Jr. Day Events

Potluck and speaker on Jan. 17; family celebration Jan. 18

The Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison will present its 20th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day observance with a free potluck supper and speaker starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, followed at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 18 by a family program.

Hasan Azad, a doctoral candidate specializing in Islamic Studies at Columbia University, will speak at the adult program on Sunday about historical factors behind racism against Muslims in Europe and the United States, the “politics” of Islamophobia, some of the history behind ISIS/ISIL and protecting the civil rights of Muslims in the U.S. Azad, who has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Islamic societies and cultures from the University of London, is spearheading an online platform — Islam(s) First — dedicated to the public study of Islam from an academic perspective.

April Armstrong (photo provided)

April Armstrong (photo provided)

On Monday, the library welcomes storyteller and program emcee Jonathan Kruk and actress, singer and storyteller April Armstrong back for their popular MLK, Jr. Family Program. This year’s program will feature multicultural songs and stories about freedom seekers around the world.

Armstrong’s career has spanned Broadway national tours, regional theater, television, film, and books (she contributed to the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Big Moo). She’s also the author of the one-woman show Two Wings to Heaven, about the black aviatrix, Bessie Coleman. Alva Nelson will accompany her on piano.

Both events are free and supported by a grant from the Friends of the Desmond-Fish Library. For more information, call 845-424-3020 or visit

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