Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration is Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University and the Northeast Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee are partnering to host the 16th annual celebration Monday, Jan. 15.

Rev. Ray Scales of Jonesboro, committee chair, said he expects the celebration to draw hundreds of participants, as it has in previous years.

“Our goal is to keep our community as one,” Scales commented.  “We welcome everyone who can to come and participate.”

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at University Hall, 113 Dean St., immediately west of the Carl R. Reng Student Union.  Participants will move north to Johnson Ave., east to University Loop East, then south to Fowler Center.

The annual Northeast Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration program, following the theme “The Color of Love,” will be at Riceland Hall in Fowler Center, immediately following the parade.

The keynote address will be presented by Rev. Kurbe Newsom, pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church and president of the Craighead County NAACP chapter.

Chancellor Kelly Damphousse will bring greetings on behalf of the university, and several A-State student organizations will participate in the celebration.

Others on the program include State Sen. John Cooper, Rev. Dr. Charles Coleman, Rev. Kenneth Thomas, Dr. Evette Allen, students from MLK College Prep High School, and the MLK Singers.

Parade participants are asked to begin gathering at 9 a.m. in the North Parking Facility and Centennial Ballroom in the Student Union, where hot coffee and hot chocolate will be served.  At 9:30 a.m., they will begin the parade line-up process in front of University Hall.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Jonesboro will kick off the day before on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. with the annual MLK Youth Celebration, “The King and His Dream,” at Fullness of Joy Ministries, 2120 Thorn St., Jonesboro.  Bishop Adrian and Elder Susan Rogers are pastors.

The mission of the Northeast Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Planning Committee is to continue to celebrate and promote the King’s life and legacy, a message of civic engagement and achieving equal opportunity for all.

All activities are open to the public and everyone is welcome to participate as a group or individually.

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