Featured photo: Bernice King
The signature event of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan will provide inspiration as the nation heads into 2021 with hope for continued advancement in racial equality, says Elaine Hardy, commission chair. It will air from 7-8 p.m. EST Monday, Jan. 18 on WILX TV 10-NBC.
Dr. Bernice King is the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King is the featured guest for the 2021 MLK Day of Celebration. The theme of the event is “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” It is an MLK quote from his “I have a dream” speech that the commission selected because it inspires perseverance.
“We’re looking forward to sharing our message of equality, diversity and social justice with a wide Mid-Michigan audience,” Hardy said. “We have taken great care to retain the quality of this annual event, now in its 36th year, and have benefited from the personal nature of television in featuring Dr. King in an interview situation.”
Due to the pandemic, the live, in-person annual event, usually two to three hours in length and held before 2,000-plus attendees, has been transformed for television.
Elements of the televised program are:
A conversation between Bernice King and Hardy, in which King explains her connection with mid-Michigan and how she and her family would like to see the world celebrate MLK Day.
Performances by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Orchestra and Michigan violinist Rodney Page.
Messages from elected officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and Rep. Elissa Slotkin.
Special announcements from the commission and its sponsors
A digital program book is available for download on the commission’s website, https://mlkmidmichigan.com.
Having a virtual format provided the opportunity to feature Bernice King. She had been unable to participate previously because of traditional obligations with The King Center, of which she is CEO, in Atlanta on MLK Day.
The program will also be available for viewing online at https://mlkmidmichigan.com.
The commission’s MLK Day of Celebration is a tribute to the inspiring civil rights leader; Dr. Martin Luther King. More information is at https://mlkmidmichigan.com or follow the commission on Facebook, @MLKCommOfMidMI.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan works to support equality, diversity and social justice. It focuses on the area’s pressing issues of literacy, youth violence, hunger, mentoring, education and community enrichment. The nonprofit organization hosts speakers and concerts, supports community service agencies and promotes youth initiatives, such as essay and art contests, college scholarships and an annual Y-Achievers tour for high school students.