Dayton region celebrates life, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr

Organizations around the Dayton area will honor the life and civil rights work of Martin Luther King, Jr with events this month ranging from prayer breakfasts to speeches by those who served with the noted civil rights leaders to the annual march that serves as a reminder of his sacrifices.

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Here is a sampling of some of the events planned to observe Martin Luther King Jr Day around the region:

Friday, Jan. 12

-Greater Allen AME Church is hosting an MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the church, 1620 W. Fifth St.

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-First Lutheran Church, 138 W First St., downtown Dayton is also hosting an MLK Interfaith Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

-The 33rd Annual Margaret E. Peters School Program Awards Ceremony of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King National Holiday Celebration will take place at 7 p.m. at Thurgood Marshall High School, 4447 Hoover Ave., Dayton.

Saturday, Jan. 13

-Dayton Human Relations Council is throwing its fifth annual Youth World House Party to honor King’s vision. The free event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will take place at Grace United Methodist Church. All are invited, but the program is directed towards youth.

“The idea came from one of Dr. King’s final writings. He talks about this idea of a world house,” senior civil rights investigator Joshua Ward said. “This concept that we’re all part of one human family.”

Participants will have the opportunity to create banners to be used during the Dayton MLK memorial march on Monday.

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Monday, Jan. 15

-Annual MLK March through downtown Dayton, organized by MLK Dayton will begin at 10 a.m. at Charles Drew Health Center, 1323 W. Third Street.

-The MLK Youth Celebration will take place at 11 a.m. at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth Street.

-MLK Celebration Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. also at the Dayton Convention Center. . David Anthony Johnson, motivational speaker, inspirational solo artist and orator specializing in King’s speeches will be featured at this event as well as the earlier youth celebration. Johnson is also a historical story-teller, songwriter, inventor and youth motivator with experience as a youth counselor.

-Centerville-Washington Diversity Council will host its 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day Breakfast. The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell will be the keynote speaker. Brown was active in the civil rights movement and worked with King. Her church was one of the first white congregation’s to receive King, according to information from CWDC. Brown was a voice against apartheid in South Africa. She also works to build ecumenical and interfaith understanding. The breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace, 10000 Yankee St., Centerville. Tickets are $20 each or $200 for a table of 10.

-Sinclair Community College will host a short 20 minute program in their conference center before joining other groups for the 10 a.m. MLK March in Dayton. A Sinclair Alumni Choir will be performing songs in the spirit of the march.

-Troy-Miami County Public Library is inviting citizens to add messages of “hope and peace” to a mural, which will be displayed in the children’s department through the month of Feb. If you want to add to the mural, you can stop by the library anytime during regular hours Jan. 15 - 19.

-Wright State University will have various exhibits and displays honoring King in their libraries throughout Jan. 15 - 19.

-Cedarville University Martin Luther King Jr Day events include chapel at 10 a.m., a gospel sing-along with the First Baptist Church Choir of London from 7 -8 p.m. in the Stevens Student Center and an art expression from 7:30-9 p.m. in the student center. All events are open to the public.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

-Wil Haygood, who wrote the Washington Post article that inspired the 2013 film “The Butler,” will deliver the keynote address at the University of Dayton’s annual MLK Prayer Breakfast at 8 a.m. The breakfast is sold out.

-The Bolinga and MLK Social Justice Award Brunch will take place at Wright State University in the Student Union Endeavor Room from 10 a.m. - noon.

-University of Dayton faculty, students and staff will participate in the MLK Social Plunge, a day of service throughout Dayton from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 20.

For more information, visit mlkdayton.org.

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