Community Celebration

Join us as we come together as a community in order to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Laurie Franklin, Har Shalom

Rabbi Laurie Franklin currently serves Congregation Har Shalom, her spiritual home, and has lived in Missoula with her family since 2002.  She believes that Jewish learning, uplifting musical worship, and community advocacy and connectedness are precious paths for living a Jewish life. At Har Shalom, she is dedicated to welcoming all comers to explore their Jewish journeys in their own way and at their own pace. 

In addition, she is a board member of the Montana Human Right Network, a participant in the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative clergy group and Action Network Core Team Leaders, and a regular contributor to the Missoulian Community of Faith column. In 2015, she was a co-founder of SALAM, Standing Alongside America’s Muslims, and participates in Faith and Climate Action Montana. Along with the City of Missoula Mayor Engen’s office, Arts Missoula, and other Missoula clergy and advocacy leaders, she organized the first Missoula Together event in Fall 2019, to celebrate Missoula’s diverse religious and cultural communities. She is excited and hopeful to be part of the newly forming Missoula County Public School working group to foster an inclusive, empowering environment for all students in our schools.

Rabbi Laurie was ordained through the ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal Ordination Program and lived in Jerusalem for one academic year, where she studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, the Conservative Yeshiva, and the Shalom Hartman Institute. She loves to grow vegetables, plant trees, play bagpipes, sing, write music, and cook. She is honored to speak today about the life and legacy of Dr. King.

 Land Acknowledgement

We in Missoula are honored to call land inhabited from time immemorial by the Salish, Pend d’Oreilles, and Blackfoot people our home. As such, we begin our Community Celebration by honoring our land and reflecting on our land’s history. This reflection this year is led by Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Council Representative, Myrna Dumontier of Arlee and Arleen Adams.

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Myrna Dumontier was born in Superior, Montana and attended schools in Arlee where she graduated from Arlee High School in 1974. She worked in various fields, including as a medical aid, firefighter, fire lookout, an addictions counselor, a prevention specialist, and a cultural specialist. Myrna went back to school and earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work with an emphasis on addiction treatment from the University of Montana in 2005. She completed an internship at St. Patrick’s Hospital as a medical social worker. Before joining Council in 2018 to represent the Arlee District, she had worked as the Cultural Coordinator for the CSKT Early Childhood Services Department for 10 years. Myrna is also a certified outfitter guide, mother to one and grandmother to four children. Her husband is Greg Dumontier. She also enjoys exploring the Bob Marshall Wilderness and discovering cultural sites.

Performances By

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University Congregational Church Choir directed by Dr. Christopher Hahn: Dr. Christopher Hahn maintains a multifaceted career as pianist, conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and author.  He has been featured as soloist and collaborative artist throughout North America and Europe and has performed in Carnegie Hall—Weill Recital Hall, the Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt, Austria, The Music Gallery in Toronto, and at institutions such as Northwestern University, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Stanford University.  He had the honor of performing for the Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Metropolitan Opera’s Leona Mitchell. Dr. Hahn studied choral conducting with Noel Edison and Jonathan Reed and has worked with Anton Armstrong, Barrie Cabena and Dennis Schrock. He has toured with various choirs throughout Europe as director, pianist, and ensemble member.  Dr. Hahn currently serves as the Director of the Chancel Choir at University Congregational Church in Missoula. Dr. Hahn has released a recording of a commissioned work for two pianos and percussion by David Maslanka on the Albany Records label, is a clinician for the Frederick Harris Music Company, and is a published author with Alfred Music. He is a Professor of Piano and Chair of the Keyboard Division at the University of Montana in Missoula.   

Makenna Alick is a 17-year-old high school senior at Hellgate High School. Makenna was born and raised in Montana and is a former student of prominent Missoula jazz singer, Eden Atwood. Makenna is a prolific songwriter and has won Zootown Idol singing Stevie Wonder’s Ma Cherie Amour. This will be Makenna’s second year performing at the youth rally and MLK Celebration that she has attended since middle school.

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