“It’s one thing to be awake to the world, it’s another thing to act and do something”

The Latah County Human Rights Task Force is hosting their annual MLK Human Rights Breakfast to start discussion within the community.



The Latah County Human Rights Task Force hosting the MLK Human Rights Breakfast


For the last 29 years, the Latah County Human Rights Task Force has held a community breakfast to honor Martin Luther King Jr. This year, the breakfast will be at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 21 at Moscow Middle School.

The task force hosted the breakfast virtually the last two years due to the pandemic, and this year, they will be limiting attendance to 100 people.

The task force works on education programs for schools, networks with human rights organizations throughout the state and hosts the annual MLK Human Rights Breakfast and Human Rights Day at the Moscow Farmers Market.

Joann Muneta, chair of the task force, said she founded the organization about 40 years ago.

“The purpose of the MLK Human Rights Breakfast is to bring people together,” Muneta said. “Different ages, different backgrounds, different political parties to celebrate and affirm the ideals that Martin Luther King talked about.”

Every year, the task force focuses on a different theme to discuss during the breakfast, and this year they are focusing on community building, Muneta said.

Steve Daley-Laursen, vice chair of the task force, said that as a teenager in the 1960s, he was living in the heart of major movements going on in the world. He said he lived during the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr., the Environmental Movement and the Equal Rights Movement.

“All of these things became part of a badge for our generation,” Daley-Laursen said.

Along the way, Daley-Laursen said he has also had the opportunity to meet people who are suffering hate and discrimination. He said having real-life encounters and listening to their stories have made an indelible mark on him.

Muneta said the task force works toward sustaining human rights and opposing discrimination and hatred, while also encouraging diversity year-round. The breakfast centers around Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday to inspire and bring together a warm fellowship of people of all ages, she said.

Dr. Scott Finnie, director of Africana Studies at Eastern Washington University, will be the guest speaker to talk about the topic of community and growing together, Muneta said.

In addition to the breakfast, Muneta said the task force will also be giving out the Rosa Parks Achievement Award. She said one will go to an adult community member and another will go to a student, and that the award is nominated by the community and goes to those who have shown courage and commitment in the human rights field.

Muneta said she continues to host this breakfast because she sees the effect it has on the community each year.

“It’s one thing to be awake to the world, it’s another thing to act and do something,” Daley-Laursen said.

The task force, Daley-Laursen said, is populated by people with a really deep and rich experience in the fight for human rights. He said everyone in the task force is committed to the cause and has been in the trenches and in battles over hate and bias fighting for equal rights for all people in the community.

Muneta said registration for the event can be found on the task force’s website, and that there will also be a Zoom option as well.