The program has been set as the City of Columbus prepares to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy at the inaugural MLK Legacy commemoration event entitled The Dream Lives.
The Unity Processional is set to begin at noon on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
At the sounding of the city's noon siren system, community organizations and individuals will descend in a processional from four staging areas to the Columbus Consolidated Government Center Plaza. There will be a festival at the Plaza with various performances, inspirational speakers, food and beverages.
The Mayor's Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity will be hosting the event. Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says their goal is to reinvigorate the spirit of Dr. King for this new generation.
"Our object is to bring in younger folks and families to celebrate the great legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and how the dream is alive in Columbus," says Tomlinson. "It's going to be a ton of fun, entertainment for all people, but it's also going to have a very serious message about the challenges of today, and how Martin Luther King's message still continues to resonate with us, and still is a guide for how we can be a better people."
Morris Dee will address the crowd at the Plaza. Dee is a founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, and a legendary civil rights activist who successfully obtained multi-million dollar civil judgements against the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and others for directing and encouraging violent and murderous acts.
The event will also feature Charles Person, the youngest Freedom Rider member of the original 1961 Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Comedian Jimmy Swanigan, known as "Swann", with give a presentation. Columbus State University's gospel choir "Genesis" will perform, as well as Pariah Poetry and the DSOS Band.
"We are thrilled to have new partners in this effort: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT), Young Professionals of the Camber of Commerce (YPs), and Young Minority Leaders of Columbus," says Tomlinson. "It was important to the Commission that we reach the next generation of leaders so we can ensure the celebration of the King legacy continues."
Tomlinson encourages participants to be creative with signs and T-shirts during the procession in expressing how they believe the dream is alive—or should be alive—in Columbus today.
To register for the event as a group or individual, visit the registration page at columbusga.org.
Join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter with #thedreamlives.
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