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January 22, 2013

King’s dream still rings loudly

Jeffersonville hosts its 29th MLK Day celebration

JEFFERSONVILLE — It wasn’t a march to Selma or through Montgomery, Ala., but a handful of revelers braved the cold Monday in Jeffersonville and marched from City Hall to First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church honoring the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.

For the 29th year a motorcade, march and memorial service were held Monday afternoon in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This year’s event was marked by another historic celebration. About an hour before Jeffersonville residents filled the First Trinity Baptist Church, President Barack Obama was inaugurated to serve his second term in office.

“Not only do we get to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, but we get to celebrate the legacy of President of Barack Obama,” said Renee Bains, who served as the mistress of ceremonies.

She called it “divine intervention” that the two events coincided and also referenced the upcoming 50th anniversary of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which he delivered at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963.

Before the march and the motorcade made its way to the service, Janice Leavell, an event organizer, pointed to the importance of the speech and how “all things tie back to the beginning.”

“He could have written it for 2013,” she said. “You see what a visionary he was.”

To make sure the message of King’s speech carries on, the theme of this year’s King Scholarship contest was “Have we forgotten the dream?”

Four Clark County High School students were awarded a $500 annual scholarship that recognizes the students for their community service. The purpose of the scholarship is to encourage scholastic achievement, volunteerism and compassion.

Leavell said two additional scholarships were granted, but currently funding is only available for four of the scholarships. She said if the group is able to raise the funding, they will award the two additional scholarships.

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Students of the Renaissance Academy's inaugural freshman class placed the final piece of the puzzle on a presentation board at the opening ceremony in Clarksville Tuesday morning. The students, or learners as termed by the RA, will play an integral role in their own education, using hands-on and project based curriculum to learn new information.

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