MLK Day celebration plans set

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 18, 2004

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration begins Monday but event chairman Robert Pleasant Jr. hopes to see the themes of togetherness and unity continue throughout the year.

Lawrence County's 14th annual MLK Day Memorial Celebration will be at 7 p.m. Monday at Ohio University Southern in the Bowman Auditorium.

In recent years, the annual celebration was sponsored by the now dissolved Operation Be Proud organization. Because the need for the event is still there,

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Pleasant said he took it on himself, with the help of OUS, to make sure the tradition continued.

"I think it is one of those events that is a must for any community," he said. "The idea of this celebration, especially in this time of war, is to celebrate a man who believed in peace, a man who believed that helping is very important in the world we live in."

Pleasant wants to invite the entire community to come out for the event that is for everyone.

"Dr. King did not just stand for African Americans. He stood for all humanity," Pleasant said. "Everyone, regardless of race or gender, can live in a society where they are judged on their character."

"It is not a black and white issue and should never be seen as that."

The theme for the celebration which will focus on the the words of King that asked, "What are you doing for others?"

"It is important we realize that our lives are not just about us. The idea is to encourage people to help others," he said. "Our lives are much greater than ourselves. It is about the idea that we have a responsibility to help out others so they can be the best they can be."

Carrie Cline-Black, WSAZ Television 3 news anchor, will be the keynote speaker. Local pastors, students and residents will sing, dance and read scripture during the ceremony. Mayor John Elam will also speak.

OUS will provide refreshments after the program.

For more information, call Pleasant at 532-3140 ext. 221.

The Southeastern Ohio Branch NAACP will host a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration at 1 p.m. Monday at Paint Creek Baptist Church, 833 Third Avenue in Gallipolis.

The featured speaker is Nellie Ruby Taylor. She is a "Who's Who in America" poet, artist, author and educator.