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Riverside Church Bigwig to Honor MLK in Mamaroneck

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Committee on Human Rights selected Rev. James a Forbes, senior pastor emeritus of New York's Riverside Church, to be the keynote speaker at their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration Jan. 11.

Forbes was the first African American minister at Riverside Church, built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1937. He is also the founder and president of the Healing of the Nations Foundation and leading civil rights advocate.

"He's very well known in the civil rights field and certainly in the church community," said Harold Wolfson, of the Mamaroneck Local Summit. "He's also known as a 'preacher's preacher.' He's a wonderful speaker. He has a great grasp of history and what has happened in this country and what's happening today."

The event will also honor someone with a 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. award, and pay tribute to members of a local organization that has made significant contributions to the community. Students from the Mamaroneck and Rye Neck High Schools and Hommocks Middle School will also give presentations and performances.

Forbes' speech, titled "Looking Back, Moving Forward," will examine racial and economic discrimination.

"Dr. Forbes comes from a church that has a long history of activity on behalf of minorities and other disenfranchised groups," Wolfson said. "We're delighted to have him come to Mamaroneck."

The celebration will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hommocks auditorium.

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