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Livingstone College plans MLK events

By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service
Across the country, people celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday in different ways.
But at Livingstone College, administrators, faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to do something positive on that day.
ěDr. King was one of the greatest leaders in American history and the world,î said Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins. ěHe fought against racial injustice and oppression in a non-violent way to ensure that African-Americans and all people are treated equally and fairly. His efforts paved the way for generations of people to achieve greatness, myself included.î
Because King paid the ultimate sacrifice for his efforts, Jenkins said it behooves all people ó particularly people of color ó to do something constructive on Monday while enjoying a day off from work or school.
ěI have encouraged Livingstone College faculty, students and staff to do something worthwhile on Monday,î Jenkins said. ěThat could be attending a breakfast honoring Dr. King, feeding people at a homeless shelter or visiting with some neighborhood children to stress the importance of education and staying out of trouble. Iím sure some people will take advantage of a day off by getting some rest, which is understandable, but Iím hoping our faculty, students and staff will spend at least a few hours on Monday doing something to help perpetuate Dr. Kingís legacy. I feel very strongly that he would want that.î
Jenkins is participating in three events to commemorate Kingís life.
Today at 8:30 a.m., he and members of his senior staff will attend an MLK Unity Prayer Breakfast at Bethel Baptist Church Ministries in Kannapolis. The annual event will be officiated by Pastor Bryan J. Pierce, and a prayer service will be led by Pastor Donald Anthony of Grace Lutheran Church in Concord. Ed Hosack, executive director of Cooperative Christian Ministries in Concord, will deliver the keynote address.
During the prayer breakfast, Jenkins will be among five people to receive a Community Leader for Change award, which honors people who affect change in their communities, said event coordinator Vanessa R. House. In addition, Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County will be recognized.
ěWeíre just honored to have Dr. Jenkins and the other recipients accept their nominations this year,î House said. ěWe are also thankful for their contributions to the community and beyond.î
On Sunday, Jenkins will bring greetings at the 34th Annual MLK Birthday celebration and Humanitarian Awards Day, being held at 3 p.m. at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Salisbury.
The service of praise and celebration gives thanks to God for Kingís legacy by recognizing individuals and groups for their commitments to lift ěGodwardî their sisters and brothers, according to information supplied by the church.
On Monday, Livingstone College will have a big hand in the 25th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2011 Citywide Celebration.
Livingstone College football players will assist people with parking at the MLK breakfast which runs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the J. F. Hurley Family YMCA on Jake Alexander Boulevard.
Robert J. Brown, founder, chairman and CEO of B&C Associates Inc., an international public relations, research, marketing and crisis management firm headquartered in High Point, will deliver the keynote address.
He will be introduced by Jenkins.
Also Monday, all Livingstone College Greek organizations, as well as many other campus groups, will participate in the MLK parade. Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will have a prominent role in the parade as King was a member of that fraternity, said Terri Stevenson, director of student activities at Livingstone College.
Stevenson is on the celebration committee of the Salisbury Human Relations Council, which organized the King Celebration. She said the theme for the day is ěUnity Works.î
ěThe goal of the committee has been to make the day not only one of celebration but also one that involves the entire community and embraces diversity,î Stevenson said. ěWe hope all of the events will be well attended and that people will spend time on Monday reflecting on what Dr. King stood for and how they can apply that to their lives.î

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