“My Summer Working for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
On Wednesday, January 23, at 7 p.m., to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jewish Community of Ojai (JCO) will host an encore performance by Lanny Kaufer of his musical multimedia presentation, “My Summer Working for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Kaufer will share the experiences he had in the Voting Rights Movement, including meeting and volunteering for Dr. King in the South in 1965, and share socially conscious music of the era.
The presentation consists of a slideshow of approximately 200 slides, many of which have music embedded to represent the “soundtrack” of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Kaufer also sings, raps, and plays guitar and harmonica to add more musical flavor to the program.
The current presentation will be similar to one he gave for JCO in May, 2018, but will include new and updated content. Speaking as the son of a Holocaust refugee, Kaufer will discuss the little known influence of American anti-black racism on Adolf Hitler’s philosophy as well as share Jewish contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. JCO member Sharon West, who was at “Ole Miss” in 1962 when James Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated university, will introduce Lanny.
In 1964 Kaufer volunteered for Dr. King’s SCOPE Project (Summer Community Organization and Political Education), a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) initiative designed by Dr. King to educate, organize, and register voters in the South just as the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed. He served in southern Virginia where he was fortunate to meet and shake hands with Dr. King after hearing one of his speeches. The local SCOPE Project which Kaufer and his team helped to establish was able to extend the hours of voter registration, register new voters, and launch an Improvement Association that is still going strong today.
The event is free and open to the public with donations accepted.
JCO is located at 530 W. El Roblar in Meiners Oaks