News and Tribune

January 7, 2014

Continuing the dream: Group to host MLK celebration in New Albany on King’s birthday

New Albany Parks Department joining the Community Women for Unity and Equality for event


NEW ALBANY — Each year they remember a man who transformed race relations in the U.S. while also focusing on ways to continue to fulfill the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Community for Unity and Equality began hosting a memorial to honor the late Civil Rights leader a few years ago, and support for the event has grown.

But instead of holding the dinner on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, which is on Jan. 20, the organization elected to move the celebration to MLK’s birthday, which is Jan. 15.

The New Albany Parks Department is joining the Community Women for Unity and Equality to host the event at the Kathy Wilkerson/Griffin Street Center.

Spiritual and uplifting messages will be delivered, a choir of young adults will sing, and Floyd Superior Court No. 1 Judge Susan Orth will be the featured speaker during the event, which will begin at 6 p.m.

“We feel that it is a worthy memorial because Dr. King was a person that encouraged all races to come together to work for the common good,” said Marcia Booker, president of the Community Women for Unity and Equality.

“We want to pattern our work after his work.”

The organization presses for equality in the community and seeks to educate people of all races about  fairness and opportunity.

Teaching children and teenagers about the Civil Rights struggle and the continued need to push for equality is also a pillar of King’s teachings and of the organization, Booker said.

“While we’re here, we should try to share what we know with the youth,” she said.

There are several events held on MLK Day, so the organization decided to host the event on King’s birthday so that his legacy could receive additional attention and respect, Booker continued.

While race relations have improved since the 1960s, there is still room for growth, she continued.

It’s important to remind people of King’s passion for the human race and his love for all races, she said.

“He is a role model for me and others, and I just thank God for him,” Booker said. “Had he not voiced his opinions, I wonder where the African American race would be?”.

Hot soup and drinks will be served during the memorial for free. Reservations are requested due to seating, and the deadline is Friday. To reserve a seat, call 812-945-6349.

So you know

• Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on April 4, 1968. He would have been 85 years old this year.