8th MLK ecumenical service set Monday, Jan. 18

Jan 13, 2010 | General News

The 8th annual Martin Luther King Day Noon Ecumenical Observance will be held Monday, Jan. 18 at noon in the Ruston Civic Center.
This service follows the annual Martin Luther King Unity March and parade that will start at 11 a.m. at Louisiana Tech”s Thomas Assembly Center, where marchers will meet at 10:45 a.m. The event is coordinated by the office of multicultural affairs at Louisiana Tech and produced by a committee of students, faculty/staff and local residents.
The march and parade will proceed east on Alabama, north on Monroe and to the south entrance of the Ruston Civic Center. Those who wish to participate in the second leg of the march can join at Homer and Alabama streets, two blocks from the civic center.
The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Carmelita Pope Freeman who is regional community relations director for the U.S. Justice Department and an ordained elder in the CME 4th Episcopal District.
“Since it started in 1992 as a ‘Unity March,’ this whole event has certainly gotten bigger since we added the ecumenical observance in 2002 and moved it to the civic center,” said Adam Collins, director of multicultural affairs at Tech. “These changes definitely promote a more inclusive and diverse dynamic.”
This community-wide service will include students and faculty from Grambling State, Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Monroe universities, and residents from Lincoln Parish and the surrounding area.
“I certainly hope members of the community who attend will use this event as a catalyst to strengthen their own personal perspectives on the far-reaching impact of Dr. King’s real legacy and the importance of diversity,” he said.
Collins said Freeman’s message will address the theme for this year’s event, “The original dream…true freedom.”
“Our theme affirms that King”s original dream goes beyond issues of law and color, for his dream is the American dream,” he said. “It is one of true freedom for each individual to be self-determined, accepted, and acknowledged.
Unfortunately, many view Dr. King’s dream through the narrow passage of
African-American history. It does not reflect just the past struggles of blacks to gain equality under the law. It is a dream for the nation, the world.”
Music will be provided by the Rainbow Covenant Community Choir, a group comprised of singers from the area coming together just for this event. Organized and coordinated by Lindelle Turner Weaver, the choir is accompanied by members of the South Parkway Church band along with area musicians.
The program will continue a tradition in which a different church choir director directs a song on the program. A free jambalaya lunch will be served.
Written by Reginald Owens