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Civil Rights leader's work remembered
Today's youth are decades removed from the struggle of the nation's civil rights movement, which changed the way society views race relations.

That's why community gatherings are planned this weekend to celebrate the birthday and legacy of the man behind the history: the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Bringing the community together in the wake of the rash of local violence and recognizing the peace that King preached is important, said Calvin Waye, chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee, which sponsors the annual events in Brunswick.

"It's a matter of introducing and making it known what he did for all of us," Waye said. "This is the time for it and the time to bring it forward."

The celebration will kick off Friday with a community breakfast, an event that's meant to bring people from all walks of life together to start their day with inspiration, said committee member Trice Hamilton.

"Usually it brings everyone together, a wide variety of people," Hamilton said. "We all benefitted from the struggles and things Dr. King did."

Hamilton added that bringing the community together to showcase positive potential is important to helping youth understand the gravity of violence.

"I feel like we've lost such a respect for life, and that we want everyone to claim sight of that again - a respect for life no matter who it is," Hamilton said.

A community prayer vigil Sunday will bring awareness to local violence that has affected many families and neighborhoods.

"We decided to collaborate with ministers and parents to have a vigil," said J. Nell Ford, an organizer of the event. "It's an evening of praise and candlelight memorial for the young men who have recently been involved in violence."

Violence is important to address at this time because of King's stance on the issue and his push for integration, respect and love for people of all races.

"He stood for nonviolence, and we're getting away from that," Ford said. "I think it's the perfect time to come together. It's what he would have wanted us to do."

Monday's annual parade will be reminiscent of one of King's many marches, said Waye.

"This is a reference. That's why it's important," Waye said. "We have been bringing people together for nearly 20 years, and it seems like more and more people show up each year."

The parade will begin at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, travel east on Gloucester Street, turn north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, turn left on G Street and then end at 2900 Albany St. The parade will then be followed by a rally at Selden Park.

"This is all to keep the dream of King alive," Waye said. "We've noticed in our community that we've all been affected by what he did."

EVENTS BREAKOUT

8 a.m. Friday -- Breakfast featuring the Rev. Eric Rentz and community leaders at Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority Inc., 1 Community Action Drive, Brunswick.

10 a.m. Friday -- Martin Luther King Jr. program sponsored by Irene Chance at the Roosevelt Lawrence Center, 1109 H St., Brunswick.

3 p.m. Sunday -- Prayer Warriors Against Violence at the historic Roxy Theatre, 1603 Albany St., Brunswick.

9:30 a.m. Monday -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. Line up at 9:30 a.m. and start at 10:30 a.m. beginning at Mary Ross Waterfront Park on Bay Street in Brunswick, ending at 2900 Albany St., Brunswick.

12:30 p.m. Monday -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally at Selden Park on U.S. 341, Brunswick.



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