By: Michelle Kinsey—
Muncie, IN—For many, January 21 will be a day off from work or school.
But organizers of the annual MLK Day say it should be a “day on.”
“[It’s] a day that brothers and sisters from all walks of life can stand together to learn from each other, empower each other, to work toward the common goal of peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all,” said WaTasha Barnes Griffin, executive director of the YWCA, Muncie Community Schools board member and a member of the MLK Day planning committee.
Several community partners have developed a full day of activities for all ages, including a breakfast, a unity march, youth activities and a worship service.
“Few communities our size have such a comprehensive list of events for this day,” said Pastor Andre Mitchell of Deliverance Temple. He, along with other members of the Collective Coalition of Concerned Clergy “spearhead and sponsor these events annually with the help of strategic community partnerships,” he added.
Those partners include Ball State University, Boys & Girls Club, Muncie Community Schools, the City of Muncie and many more.
“Dr. King spoke truth to power, but he did it in a way that fostered diversity and camaraderie,” Mitchell said. “When people attend the various events they not only see this in action they can actually feel it in the atmosphere we create.”
The day will begin with the MLK Unity Community Breakfast at 9 a.m. in Cardinal Hall of the Pittenger Student Center on the Ball State University campus. Hosted by the greater Muncie Community, the CCCC (Collective Coalition of Concerned Clergy) and Ball State University, the breakfast commemorates and celebrates the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr.
A MLK Unity March will follow from 11 – 11:40 a.m. Participants are asked to assemble at 10:45 a.m. at the Multicultural Center, on the corner of McKinley Avenue and North Street. The march will travel north on McKinley to the Shafer Bell Tower, then return along McKinley to the center.
All of the youth programs will be at Muncie Central High School. Doors will open at 8:15 a.m. for breakfast, with the main program beginning at 9 a.m. Keynote speaker will be Joseph Anderson, president of the local NAACP chapter. A special performance by Unstoppable will also be featured.
Children will then participate in a variety of workshops based on grade level.
Activities for children in kindergarten through fifth grade were created by Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie and will include crafts, videos and discussions about MLK, and more. The Muncie Symphony Orchestra will be providing its instrument petting zoo.
Workshops for students in grades 6-12 were organized by Yolanda Taylor and Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie. They will include separate sessions for boys and girls in each grade, with topics ranging from positivity to finding your purpose.
Lunch will be included. Workshops and activities will end at 1 p.m.
The day’s events will conclude with a MLK Unity Worship Service from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Union Missionary Baptist Church, 1103 N. Macedonia Ave. The service will feature Pastor Jeffrey A . Johnson Sr. of Eastern Star Church, Indianapolis.
Mitchell said the community’s ongoing support for these events “simply says we are committed to keeping the dream alive, and our future is bright when we find ways to put action behind the dream all year long.”
Related WLBC audio from “This Week in Delaware County” about Unity Week can be heard below.