JONESBORO – Arkansas State University is partnering with the Northeast Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee to host the 15th annual celebration Monday, Jan. 16, with a march, program and musical presentation. A youth program Sunday afternoon precedes these events.
Rev. Ray Scales of Jonesboro, committee chair, said he expects the 15th annual celebration to draw hundreds of participants, as it has in previous years.
“The annual celebration continues to grow tremendously each year,” Scales commented. “People come from a wide area to attend the march and program because they are entertaining while serving an educational purpose. We welcome everyone to come and participate.”
The march begins at 10:30 a.m. at New St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 310 North Main St. Participants are asked to arrive by 10 a.m. for the lineup. Marchers will travel south on Main Street to Union Street, then east on Washington Street to St. Bernards Auditorium. One of the highlights of the march will be the Martin Luther King Prep High School Marching Band of Memphis, and their high-stepping marching and dance team.
The Monday program will be held at St. Bernards Auditorium, 505 East Washington Ave., at noon immediately following the march. The featured speaker will be Rev. Larry Reeves of Fountain Valley, Calif., a Little Rock native and 1974 graduate of A-State.
Chancellor Doug Whitlock will bring greetings on behalf of the university, and several A-State student organizations will participate in the march.
A new feature of the MLK celebration this year will be the City Wide Musical, Monday starting at 5:30 p.m., also at St. Bernards Auditorium. Featured performers are Missionary Susie George, The Mathis Family, Meant By God, Min. Patrick Bean & Bonafide Worshippers, The Gospel Writers and MLK Choir.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration actually kicks off the day before on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. with a program for community youth in Centennial Hall of the Reng Student Union at A-State.
The featured speaker will be LaTasha Moore, a 2014 alumnus of A-State, where she obtained two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Spanish and communication studies.
Rev. Larry E. Reeves
While he was a student at A-State, Reeves’s journalistic ability enabled him to perform dual roles as a reporter for both the Herald and the Arkansas Gazette. He also was employed as the first African American news anchor and reporter for KAIT-TV.
Reeves majored in journalism and was a Distinguished Military Student in the ROTC program. Upon graduation, he served in the Army for almost 12 years, then worked in management in the transportation industry for more than 30 years.
While at ASU he met and later married his wife of 33 years, Jacqueline Butcher Reeves. They have lived in Fountain Valley for more than 16 years and are the parents of two adult daughters, Carina Morgan (Tim) and Janeta Reeves, both of Dallas.
Rev. Reeves is the minister of pastoral care for approximately 600 members on two campuses of the Second Baptist Church of Santa Ana, and he fills leadership roles in numerous capacities both in the church and his community.
In addition to his degree at A-State, he earned a master’s in human resource management from Chapman University, and a master’s in Christian ministries from Liberty University.
While at the university, Moore served in several student organizations and was selected to receive the most prestigious student honor at A-State, the R.E. Lee Wilson Citizenship Award.
Fluent in Spanish, she taught English in Spain after graduating. Moore is completing coursework for a master’s degree in public health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She is a member of the Arkansas Society for Public Health Education, a part of UAMS R.E.A.C.H. Delta — a program that exposes high school students to medical professions in hopes that they will later pursue them — and she is a volunteer Spanish interpreter for the UAMS 12th Street Health and Wellness Clinic. Her future plans are to serve as a public school teacher.
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This and other news releases also available at: AState.edu/news