MLK Day events begin to take shape

Published 10:30 pm Friday, January 6, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored in a variety of celebrations and ceremonies throughout the next weekend in Vicksburg, and one traditional event will give to local students in the process.

The 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast will be Monday, Jan. 16 at 8:30 a.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center. The speaker will be the Rev. Carroll Rhodes of Jackson.

“In the past we’ve had all types of speakers,” organizer Ben Brown said. “There have been judges, mayors, and we had Myrlie Evers a couple years ago.”

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The event is open to the community and sponsored by the Omicron Rho Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Brown serves as the president of the local chapter.

The fraternity’s Omicron Rho Lambda Educational Foundation gives scholarships to high school students at the end of the school year. At this breakfast, five junior high students will each be given a $100 scholarship.

“It’s $100 to encourage the kids to explore different subject matters related to Dr. Martin Luther King,” Brown said. “We give the scholarships to give the kids recognition.”

Scholarship recipients are chosen based on an essay contest. The students are asked to write on a topic pertaining to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Then the entries are judged, and the top five are chosen.

“The main focus is on making the community aware of his contributions and what we can do to continue his legacy,” Brown said.

The event averages a crowd of 300 people every year, he said, and he expects the same for this year.

“We want to continue to do the kind of work (Martin Luther King Jr.) would be proud of, bridging gaps,” Brown said, adding the fraternity also wants to promote unity.

The breakfast, catered by Palmertree Catering, will be a full, well-rounded meal, he said. Breakfast tickets are $20. For reservations or more information, call 601-638-9047.

“I encourage everyone to come out and participate,” Brown said.

Other MLK events happening in town include:

4 A unity worship service at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at the House of Peace Worship Church, 1301 Holly St.

4 A memorial birthday celebration at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan.16, at the Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St. The guest speaker is Neddie Winters, president of Mission Mississippi.