LOXLEY, Alabama — For the 13th straight year, the Loxley Area Martin Luther King Group will hold program beginning with a march up Alabama 59 (Hickory Street) beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at …
LOXLEY, Alabama — For the 13th straight year, the Loxley Area Martin Luther King Group will hold program beginning with a march up Alabama 59 (Hickory Street) beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at the Loxley Church of God, marching to the Loxley Civic Center.
A short program at the Civic Center will begin at 9 a.m., featuring youth-led singing and readings from King’s writings and speeches. The theme for this year’s program is “It’s up to us to change the game.”
“We have the potential and the power to change the game,” said Ronnie McBride, who has organized the event since inception.
While political and racial tensions continue to rise throughout the state and the nation, it remains crucial to stay focused on what is important, he said.
“God is still God and we have to give Him all the glory no matter our circumstances,” he said.
Guest speaker for the event will be Dr. Tom Ellison, medical services director and principal investigator with Birmingham-based Project H.E.L.P., U.S.A.
Founded in 1987 in Birmingham, Project H.E.L.P. provides innovative community-based projects in hypertension, teen pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, health promotion, substance misuse, health disparities, community based research, STI,HIV/AIDS prevention, workforce development and youth enhancement.
“Our medical pipeline programs enjoys a success rate of 83 percent of our youth transitioning to become a health care professional,” according to the group’s Facebook page. “Our emergency preparedness projects include disaster response, recovery, mitigation, disaster risk reduction and psychological first aid for first responders, survivors and community leaders.”
Organized through the vision of resident Gloria Autry, McBride said, the purpose of the program is to bring the community together.
“We want everyone to feel that they can come out and be a part of the program,” he said. “We welcome everyone to participate, whether they are black, white, Hispanic or any other. This is for everyone.”
Each year, the nationwide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is held on the third Monday of January to commemorate his birthday on Jan. 15. Introduced as legislation by U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, MLK Day was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
Marches held in King’s honor commemorate the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery that created national support for federal voting rights legislation.