Community News: Westport celebrates MLK's legacy with week of virtual events and more

Westport town government recognized as transportation leader

The town government in Westport has received the silver award for the CTride 2021 Transportation Leaders program for its efforts to encourage employees to drive to work using greener commuting methods, such as public transit or carpooling.

Library presenting ‘Talkin’ Baseball with Tony La Russa’

The Westport Library is presenting a conversation with Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa on Jan. 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in a virtual program titled: “Talkin Baseball with Tony La Russa.”

La Russa will be joined by longtime friend, and the founder of the company, Steve Consulting Group LLC, Steve Parrish for a career-spanning chat that will cover his World Series victories, classic baseball stories, and how he is preparing for the 2021 season as the new manager of the MLB’s Chicago White Sox team.

Register online through the library’s website.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week goes virtual

The work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be celebrated with a week of free, virtual events.

It is hosted by the Westport Library, the Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, the Westport-Weston Interfaith Council and Westport-Weston Interfaith Clergy. The presentations are open to the public by RSVP for Zoom link access. Space is limited.

It starts with a conversation with bestselling author Layla F. Saad from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 17. Saad wrote “Me and White Supremacy.” This is also the launch of the library’s 2021 WestportREADS initiative titled: “Towards a More Perfect Union: Confronting Racism.” RSVP through the library.

The series continues at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 with a panel discussion with representatives of the week’s organizers, entitled “Me and White Supremacy: What Can I Do Next?,” Register through the library's website.

The celebration week culminate with “New Works/New Voices,” an evening of original monologues in response to Saad’s book, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 21. Gracy Brown, Tenisi Davis, Tamika Pettway, and Terrence Riggins will share their new works exploring themes surrounding racial justice. RSVP at Westport Playhouse's website.

People can also follow Saad’s “Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor,” from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28.

Visit https://www.westportplayhouse.org/show/mlk2021/ for more information. All dates, and participants are subject to change.

Students of the Month announced

Staples High School’s students of the month for December and January are freshman Mary Bazile, junior Catherine Cunningham, freshman Nicholas Porzio, junior Brandon Saunders, freshman Tucker Peters, junior Maya Vogelmann, senior Claire Railton-Jones, senior Autumn Smith, junior Matthew Lott, freshman Logan Goodman and senior Sasha Hamer.

Library’s Super Bowl event features “The NFL Today” host

The Westport Library is welcoming CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues and James Brown, host of “The NFL Today,” to preview this year’s Super Bowl game.

The virtual talk will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 and offer exclusive insights and analysis.

Register online through the library’s website.

Pegues went to high school in Westport where he was an All-State sprinter and All-Conference running back on the Staples High School football team.

Program looks at how an ancient date palm bore fruit

The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County is hosting a program about how some scientists were able to coax an ancient Judean date palm to bear fruit.

Elaine Solowey and David Lehrer, both with the Arava Institute, will lead the virtual talk, “A Jurassic Park Agricultural Miracle in Israel,” at noon on Jan. 26.

The free event is open to the community.

The Federation is also hosting it in partnership with the Arava Institute, the Consulate General Israel to New England and more than 30 Jewish federations across North America.

Register at: jewishphilanthropyct.org/datepalm.