On Jan. 24, Embassy Lome’s public affairs section launched a three-week-long, multi-faceted celebration of Martin Luther King’s life and legacy with a kick-off event at the Ambassador’s residence. The program consisted of an exhibition about the life and the accomplishments of Dr. King, accompanied by a music concert featuring music from the American civil rights era, including gospel, folk, and R&B classics. Over 200 guests from all segments of Togolese society attended. With government officials and leaders of the political opposition in attendance, Ambassador Gilmour used the event to link King’s message of national reconciliation to the current Togolese political crisis.
“Martin Luther King’s philosophy challenges all Togolese people to renew the bonds that tie them, and work together – constructively, honestly, and, above all, non-violently – towards a national reconciliation based on the ideals and the values that the country was founded on,” Gilmour said.
The public display of the exhibition will last from Jan. 26 – Feb. 14. It will be installed in three cities: Lome, Kpalime, and Aneho. It is made up of 20 large panels (10 explaining about King’s life and accomplishments, and 10 showing key quotes that will be food for discussion). Student groups will be invited to view the exhibition and then take part in debates and discussions focused on key quotations from Dr. King’s works. The end goal will be to inspire the students to apply Dr. King’s message to their own situations in Togo.