Brazos Valley residents will have several opportunities in the next week to participate in events designed to celebrate and honor the life, memory and example of Martin Luther King Jr.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some events will be held entirely virtually, with others altering in-person plans to adhere to best health practices related to the coronavirus.
On Monday at 10 a.m., the Brazos Valley Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host — virtually for the first time — the 25th annual Dr. King Freedom March & Program.
The program features a keynote address by recently elected Bryan school district Place 6 board member Deidra Davis. Community members are invited to submit photos in advance of the celebration; more information about the annual march can be found at www.bvaadst.com.
Event chair Agnes Gray told The Eagle this week that she hopes community members engage with the virtual march and program despite the pandemic and the loss of the traditional march through Bryan on MLK Day.
“We want to give people something to keep looking forward to,” Gray said. “Life goes on. This is our 25th year, and we didn’t want to lose that. We’re not celebrating it the way we want to, but we’re still going to try to make it a beautiful time and still keep the dream alive. We can still do that in the midst of so much happening around us.”
On Friday night at 7 p.m., the Lincoln Center in College Station will host a COVID-altered 37th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keeping the Dream Alive Celebration.
The celebration will honor the work of the Brazos Valley Area Agency on Aging, as well as retired public school teacher Ida Claudette Davenport, active faith volunteer Chanda “Cee” Ellis-Pratt, Lincoln Center volunteer Dorothy Rainwater, and SingleMoms Created4change Advocacy and Empowerment Center founder Raquel Masco.
Lincoln Center Supervisor Cheletia Johnson said seats will be distanced and masks will be required for the in-person event. She said that on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m., the Lincoln Center is also hosting an MLK-themed Bible study.
On Jan. 21 at 9 a.m., the MSC Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee (MSC WBAC) at Texas A&M is hosting educator and anti-racism activist Jane Elliott as she delivers the keynote address of the 14th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.
Elliott is a teacher and diversity educator perhaps best known for her “Blue Eyes–Brown Eyes” exercise. She first conducted her famous exercise for her class on April 5, 1968, the day after King was assassinated. In the exercise, children with brown eyes were treated less favorably than children with blue or green eyes in order to portray the effects of discrimination.
“Jane Elliott’s presence will be great for the Texas A&M community, especially because of how the campus and world climate have been since this past summer,” Tiara Kinnebrew, special projects director for MSC WBAC, said in a press release.
The program will be livestreamed on the MSC WBAC’s Facebook and Instagram Live.
In Navasota on Monday at 10 a.m., a celebration will air on Navasota City Wide Mission’s Facebook page that is set to feature orators, singers, poets, dancers and a speech from registered nurse Shanandria Anderson Shelton. Event organizers also said Navasota High School’s band and choir are scheduled to perform.
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