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Apr
07
2020
Village Life
Villagers once again braved one of the colder days of the year to march in commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and in support of his ideals. (Photo by Matt Minde)

Last year, villagers braved one of the colder days of the year to march in commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and in support of his ideals. (Photo by Matt Minde)

MLK Jr. Day in the village

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“Raising Your Voice for Justice” is the theme of this year’s local Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. The events, which include two programs and a march downtown, will be held on Monday, Jan. 20.

The day’s events will begin with a pre-march program for reflections on Dr. King’s role in the civil rights movement at 9 a.m. at the Coretta Scott King Center on the Antioch College campus. The annual march will follow, departing at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Xenia Avenue and Corry Street. The annual program will begin at 11 a.m. in the Bryan Center.

This year’s theme comes from considering “How Dr. King might respond to the current political and social climate,” according to Bomani Moyenda, the annual program’s master of ceremonies.

Two villagers will be honored at this year’s event. The late Willa Dallas will be recognized for her civil rights efforts and her instrumental role in initiating the annual local celebration of King. And the annual Peacemaker Award will be presented to Nan Harshaw, the longtime chair of the MLK Day Planning Committee.

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The annual program will kick off with drumming by Moyenda, Gyamfi Gyamerah and Cyprian Sajabi. Then, Pastor Bill Randolph of the First Baptist Church will speak. Randolph, who according to Moyenda participated in the civil rights movement with Dick Gregory, will provide reflections on the theme and read excerpts from King’s writings.

Also at the program, local student essay winners will read their essays on the theme, the World House Choir will present several vocal selections and area poets will read their works.

At the conclusion of the program, a hot soup lunch will be offered. Donations are requested of hot soup, as the program normally feeds around 200 people. Those who choose to donate soup are asked to contact Moyenda at bomani54@yahoo.com in advance.

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