Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before thousands of people in August of 1963, and delivered a message to America that called for peace and equal treatment among all people.
It’s been more than 50 years since that special moment, but millions worldwide are still making that dream possible. During a Monday celebration of the Civil Rights icon, community members, from all walks of life, will come together to remember the man behind the legacy.
As a way to honor the legacy of the Civil Rights leader, the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Business Reception, hosted by the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce’s Multi-Cultural Business Committee, is planned for Monday, Jan. 15.
“This is an opportunity for the citizens to celebrate the life and legacy of such and honorable man,” Kaitlin Norris, Chamber director, said.
This event is observed each year to honor and remember King for all of his hard work and dedication that has only enhanced the lives of minorities in today’s society. During last year’s luncheon, members of the community, who have faced discrimination in some way during their life, shared stories of their dreams and working to make them a reality.
At last year’s luncheon, 13-year-old Christopher Murphy, Jacqueline Howard, Sherry Matthews, Dr. Randy Simmons, Rep. Larry M. Bell, Dr. Ted Thomas and Nicole Edwards spoke about the struggles faced in today’s society.
Like the many others who have fought for Civil Rights, King refused to let discrimination win when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the mid-1950s after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. As a result of his leadership segregation ended for the bus system. In 1963, he led the March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The following year, the Civil Rights Act was passed and King became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“It is so important to get involved in cultural celebrations throughout the community because it shows a sense of understanding and an interest to learn and to celebrate people who deserve to be celebrated,” Norris added. “So many from our community celebrate different cultures and different people and it gives us a chance to recognize events and people that made such a big impact on our history.”
Adkins said the purpose of the event was to honor King and others who made sacrifices to ensure that the country lives up to the true meaning of its creed — that all men and women are created equal.
“We remember and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King for his commitment to equality to justice, humanity and to social change,” Adkins said. “No one did that with more passion and grace than Dr. King.”
Members of the Multi-Cultural Business Committee include Dee Bryant, Patty Cherry, Janice Thomas, Dr. Rodney Sessoms and Dr. Ted Thomas.
Monday’s event is free and open to the public. The luncheon begins at noon and will be held at the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.