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Nearly 50 years after his famous “I Have A Dream” speech was delivered during the March on Washington, the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. lives on.
Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day events kick off with a Memorial March at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. The march will begin at International Longshoremen’s Association Union Hall at the corner of 10th and Lord streets in Southport.
The march will organize in the ILA parking lot, from where it will proceed about half a mile around several blocks to symbolize the technique King used in the 1960s, event committee member Ralph Parker said.
Participants will sing freedom songs as one highlight of the march.
The march will conclude at the Union Hall, where the day’s youth-oriented program will ensue at 3:45 p.m.
Event speakers Sunday will include Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki and Principal of the Year Retha Rusk.
There will also be musical performances by local youth like the North Brunswick High School choir, as well as updates about Project Do Something in local schools. The project is designed to encourage young people “do acts of kindness and acts of justice,” Parker said.
Over the years, students through Brunswick County have done wonderful things for veterans, seniors and nursing homes, fellow students, families in the community, blood drives and Jump Rope for Heart.
The effort goes hand-in-hand with King’s mission of helping others, Parker said.
On the second day of the celebration, the annual MLK breakfast roundtable is scheduled for MLK Day, at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Trinity United Methodist Church at 209 E. Nash St. in Southport.
Highlights include North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant, a native of the Cedar Grove community who will speak on the national topic, “Remember, Act and Celebrate: Would Dr. King Be Satisfied with the Situation Now?”
This year’s Walter Welsh Award will also be bestowed. Welsh was an active community member who moved to the area after serving as chaplain at Syracuse University.
“He worked hard to promote the ideas Dr. King advocated,” Parker said. “He was instrumental in forming the Dr. Martin Luther King program.”
Breakfast tickets are $12 each and are being sold in advance. To get tickets, call Ivory Parker at (910) 457-5144 or (910) 617-6225.
MLK event in Navassa
A Martin Luther King Jr. Day march is also planned for noon Monday, Jan. 21, by the northern Brunswick County town of Navassa.
The parade will begin at Landon’s Barber Shop at the corner of South Navassa and Village roads. It will proceed to New Light Bible Ministries, where a program with a speaker will take place. The event will conclude with lunch that afternoon at Mount Calvary AME Church at 325 Main St. in Navassa.
For more information, call Navassa Town Hall at (910) 371-2432.