The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 18, will commemorate the civil rights leader’s legacy and achievements. “The Courage to Love,” the 2016 MLK Celebration theme, will emphasize the lasting impact of King’s work.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day March starts at 10:30 a.m. at the New St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 310 North Main St. in Jonesboro. The march will proceed along a designated route through downtown Jonesboro to the St. Bernards Auditorium at 505 E. Washington Ave.
The noontime event at the auditorium will feature speaker Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, author and educator. Hopson serves as the assistant general secretary for the Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the United Methodist Church, headquartered in Nashville. Previously she taught journalism at the University of Memphis. An award-winning author, Hopson’s latest book is “The Women of Haywood: Their Lives, Our Legacy,” a collection of oral history interviews with professional African American women in Haywood County, Tenn.
The MLK Day events are planned and organized by the Northeast Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee, which is chaired by Rev. Dr. Ray Scales. Additional program participants representing various churches, organizations and other sponsors will include Rev. and Mrs. Kurbe Newsom, Elder Glen Conley, Cathalene Thigpen-Stephens, MLK Praise Team, MLK Singers, Michael Hooks Jr., and the MLK Dancers.
Following the main event, Arkansas State University students will work together on the MLK Service Project. The group, Volunteer A-State, will host the activities, during which students and other participants will create cards of encouragement for the patients of Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The project will run 2 to 4 p.m. on the first floor of the Carl R. Reng Student Union (GPS: 101 N. Caraway Road).
For more information about the 2016 MLK Celebration, one may contact a member of the planning committee at (870) 972-2048.