By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer
So many adjectives come to mind when one thinks of Martin Luther King, Jr.
His compassion, dignity, humility, and sense of justice were taught by his example as he demonstrated the values he held so dear. Each year on the third Monday of January the nation celebrates his birthday by honoring his character and spirit that fueled his revolutionary spirit.
The 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration in Morgantown will take place at 2:00 p.m. on January 16 at the Metropolitan Theater located at 373 High Street. This year’s theme will be “Nonviolence is Courageous”, and after a welcome from Morgantown Mayor Marti Shamburger, the program will begin.
Dr. King’s speech “Where Do We Go From Here?” will be read by Jeremy Thomas, and Lt. Matt Solomon of the Morgantown Police Department will present “Police Officers are Peace Officers”. Music will be provided by the Flying Colors, Morgantown Children’s Choir, the Morgantown Community Orchestra and the Cheat Lake Elementary School Choir. A special presentation will be made by children from The Shack Neighborhood House as well.
Art students from St. Francis Central Catholic School created the posters used to publicize the event and area high school students will also assist with various aspects of the program. More information is available by contacting the Community Coalition for Social Justice as www. ccsjwv.org.
Dr. King’s birthday will also be celebrated in Charleston over the course of three days. The West Virginia Holiday Commission, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and West Virginia State University will sponsor three events from January 14-16 including an awards ceremony, a symbolic march, an annual bell-ringing ceremony and an evening gala.
The weekend’s activities will begin on Saturday with a private awards ceremony honoring 19 young people, five individuals and three service organizations. Awards will be given for the 13th Annual Project on Racism Essay Contest, poster contest, the Service Organization Honor Roll and the “Living the Dream” Awards, all taking place at the Cultural Center.
That evening, the gala’s theme will be “Voices of Hope in Times of Crisis” and will feature musicians, artists, and performers presenting pieces inspired by Dr. King. On January 16, the symbolic march will serve as a tribute and remembrance of King and will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church. More information for the Charleston events can be found at www. wvmlkholidaycommission.org.