MLK event in Worthington draws crowdNCIC coordinates large-scale event to commemorate holiday WORTHINGTON — One day before the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, this Martin Luther King Jr. Day had special significance for many celebrating in southwest Minnesota.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — One day before the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, this Martin Luther King Jr. Day had special significance for many celebrating in southwest Minnesota.
“If you think about Martin Luther King and his teachings and what he wanted — justice, equality, freedom for all,” said Lakeyta Potter of the Nobles County Integration Collaborative (NCIC). “And now we’re about to have our first African-American president be inaugurated tomorrow. It’s amazing. It’s a big step, and we’ve come a long way.”
This was also the first year NCIC has hosted a large-scale celebration of the holiday, including a peace march, educational program and community service activities.
Students and community members marched several blocks along Clary Street, from the collaborative to Worthington High School, where students led a program that shared King’s legacy and touched on issues of racism.
Pastor Andrew Henry gave the invocation and the Six Steps Hip Hop group performed, as did members of the Youth Diversity Corps. The corps presented a skit about racism in Nazi Germany, Birmingham, Ala., and during the Vietnam War.
“Only you can blow out the flame of racism,” one girl told the crowd at the conclusion of the presentation.
Members of Dynamic 507, an NCIC service learning group who helped plan the event, shared King’s famous quotes and a brief history of the civil rights leader.
The event concluded with community service activities, encouraging students to make the holiday a “day on” rather than a “day off.” Potter said volunteer opportunities were set up at the Manna Food Pantry, Crossroads Care Center, Golden Horizons and also the collaborative, where community members could build survival kits, help students in English as a Second Language classes, write letters to soldiers or help paint a mural.
“We had some adults come out to see it, we even have some adults walk with us in the cold,” Potter said of the peace march. “It’s a day to get out and give back to your community, and to see community members come out to support that is great. It’s a great feeling.”