Edith Bush never stood a chance of not becoming a community leader.The 83-year-old West Palm Beach resident soaked up her family identity and led a storied life that took her from her roots in the deep South during the turbulent civil rights movement, to life as a college graduate, teacher and now executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Coordinating Committee. Bush is a founding member of the committee which started off as the Black Educators Caucus in 1971 but changed as the membership became more diverse, merging with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Today Bush plays a key role in the community by leading the committee in its annual month-long MLK celebrations that include art exhibits, performing arts, oratorical, poster and essay contests, inter-faith religious services, Gospelfest, tennis tournaments, and candlelight services. The week ends with a Scholarship Breakfast. “We are able to identify and provide scholarships to students who exemplify artistic, cultural and leadership skills,” said Bush. “They attend college and empower their communities.”
The committee also hosts a spring health fair for seniors and a summer peace camp for youth.
Bush is also very passionate about the many causes the committee has committed to, including the volunteer-driven Martin Luther King Caregivers Program that provides services including help around the home, food distribution, respite care and transportation — especially to the polls — to those 55 and older.
“We live by the scripture — feed the hungry, cloth the naked and if someone is thirsty give them water,” said Bush.