Huron Valley community honors MLK

Courtney Fortin, Editor in Chief

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. firmly believed that it was important to fight for a world with peace and equality, and his efforts as a civil rights activist are still appreciated today. Each year, the world recognizes Dr. King’s endeavor to lead change and continues his message on the third Monday of January.

On Sunday, Jan. 14, Huron Valley will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through the 13th annual March on Main Street celebration. Starting at Prospect Hill, citizens will walk through downtown Milford to pay homage to Dr. King and end at the Suzanne Haskew Arts Center for a post-March ceremony. The SHAC’s ceremony will feature hot refreshments, snacks, art submissions, community service opportunities, and a musical performance.

Starting in August, members of the Huron Valley MLK Day committee work toward creating the event; Lakeland High School Teacher Isaac Perry is just one of many who work towards honoring Dr. King each year. When Perry began workingat Lakeland in 2003, he recognized that HVS did little to honor the federal holiday; he then took a group of his students out on a field trip to see how other schools honored MLK.

“We were instantly inspired,” exclaimed Perry. He quickly got involved with emphasizing the importance of the day in the Huron Valley community.

Starting in 2005, the March on Main parade has been a way for the community to commemorate Dr. King’s life and legacy. The committee is full of individuals who are passionate about civil rights and believe it’s important to discuss and fight for equality. Although the committee is mostly composed of adults, the group features high schoolers and even middle schoolers who aim to make a difference in the world.

Perry said he believes the March on Main is a way for the community to remember how people fought and overcame social obstacles while learning how to move forward to promote nonviolence and peace.

“ Injustice and inequality have always been there. The MLK holiday is a day to reflect on the challenges our country has faced in the past,” said Perry.

During the late 1950’s and 60’s, Dr. King advocated for legal equality for African Americans in the United States; through nonviolent protests, civil disobedience, and powerful speeches, he became a quintessential civil rights advocate. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” became one of the most widely recognized speeches as he shared his hopes for a world free of hatred.

Despite Dr. King’s achievements, there are still conflicts regarding race in the United States and individuals fighting for equality. In today’s world, the fight for justice continues through different protests, like Black Lives Matter.

In addition to MLK Day events focused on promoting equality and non-violence, March on Main also focuses on people working together in order to help their community and those around them.

“It’s important to volunteer or to help out other people in need or to identify ways that you can connect with your community and make life better for other people,” emphasized Perry. “Thats a really important part of it.”

With that idea in mind, the SHAC promulgates community service; this year, the arts center is organizing a soup recipe food drive in order to gather food that can be packaged into soup bags for families in need. The SHAC will display different community service projects that citizens can do in order to help keep Dr. King’s vision alive.

“The national holiday is a day designated toward service,” explained Perry. “One of Dr. King’s central ideas was that what makes people great is our ability to serve other people”

While the world continues to admire Dr. King’s ideas, it’s inevitable that there will be some type of oppression in the world; however, as long as people are still being treated unfairly there will still be passion that fuels a fight for justice, equality, and peace for all.

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Huron Valley community honors MLK