PULLMAN, Wash. — A Community Building Strategic Planning event is scheduled for Feb. 27 to reaffirm the need and desire to support, encourage and empower people.

The event is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. in Washington State University’s Compton Union Building’s Carey Junior Ballroom.

“Our collective strategic planning process will seek deliberatively to reflect and address the aspirations, needs and realities of all people,” said Herb Delaney, chair of the 2003 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration. “We do this in the recognition that we are all learning together and that no one yet knows how to create politics marked by full equality and genuine respectfulness across differences.”

Less than 40 years ago, Dr. King and many civil rights activists believed and embodied the values of inquiry and knowledge, engagement and application, leadership, diversity, character, stewardship and teamwork. “The legacy that was set forth during that time was the ability for people to come together as a community and strategically plan for direct action, even under extreme circumstances,” Delaney said.

The community celebration again answers to the call of living the legacy through community building. “Rhetoric on any level without true action is worthless,” he said. “We often slip into the trap of short-term solutions thus lacking the diligence to unearth the underlying causes of many attending crises.”

Delaney believes that to engage in the legacy of community building, we must first examine our personal value system then evaluate how these values manifest within the larger community to which we belong.

He encourages all member of the community to participate in the community-building event that seeks to cultivate self-discovery, deeper learning and mutual understanding. “Our social transformation journey challenges us to understand the values, memories, and mementos of each community, to hear the voices of the powerless, the powerful and everyone in between with equal resonance,” Delaney said.

“With this new level of awareness and purpose,” he said, “we will build a community of trust and respect in all that we do. We are the stewards of a legacy that values respect, fairness, justice and inclusion.”

For more information on the Community Building Strategic Planning event, visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Web site at www.wsu.edu/MLK. Those who wish to participate are encouraged to reserve a spot by calling Michele Beckmann at (509) 335-7852.