PIQUA — Not often does a nation come together to celebrate and immortalize one person’s birthday with a national holiday, but on Monday, the U.S. will recognize the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The prominent civil rights leader would be 87 years old this year.
Though King’s actual birthday is today — Jan. 15 — the holiday held in his honor is generally celebrated on the third Monday of January.
For those looking to go out and recognize King’s and the civil rights movement’s impact on modern society, the eighth annual community Martin Luther King Day Celebration hosted by the YWCA, with support from Upper Valley Medical Center Premier Health Partners, will be held 1-2 p.m. Monday. The event is free and open to the public. The YWCA is handicapped-accessible.
“As part of the YWCA mission, the Martin Luther King Jr. program focuses on eliminating racism within our community,” Gretchen Roeth, community relations director, said.
Linda Grimes, MLK Committee member, will facilitate the event. “We are extremely excited about the message of this year’s program,” said Grimes. “The MLK Community Event is a wonderful way to pay tribute to Martin Luther King and his message of peace to mankind.”
The event’s main speaker will be Shane Carter, executive director of the Lincoln Community Center, who will be speaking on “Unity Today: Accept the Differences and Move Forward.” Carter will be followed by a choral reading of “Parable of the Shapes,” which will feature community members and students.
“It’s about shapes that don’t get along with each other because they’re different from their shape,” Roeth said about the “Parable of the Shapes” reading. “We look at these differences, and we accept them as friends in spite of that they are different from what we are.”
Brenda Cobbs-Allen will be the featured musician and vocalist. The program will end with a group singing of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”
For more information, stop at the YWCA at 418 N. Wayne St., call (937) 773-6626, or e-mail [email protected]
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall