40th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) entity, is currently planning for our annual MLK, Jr. Celebration events. The format for the 2021 Celebration will be different this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As we commemorate forty (40) years of service and celebrations, we will move most of our programming to online platforms utilizing YouTube and Zoom. The 2021 programming will be expanded to a week-long list of events, and the speaker for the Prayer Breakfast will be Dr. Oralene Simmons, President, MLK Association. She will be sharing some of the forty-year struggles of not only the Association, but the 400 years of struggles of the Black race in the United States.
We are best known for our annual Prayer Breakfast that brings approximately 1,100 diverse citizens and community leaders together; however, we will not be able to physically celebrate together for this 2021 celebratory event. Likewise, the Candlelight Service and Peace March & Rally will have an online presence. Additional programming, such as the MLK Youth Scholarship Awards Ceremony, as well as most of our year-round programming as part of our Community Outreach Providing Empowerment (COPE) Initiative, which focuses on social justice and equity, will also be online. The COPE Initiative focuses on empowering residents living in Asheville and Buncombe County through educational outreach, workshops, seminars, and special events. Year-round events include programs related to:
- African-American Heritage
- African-American Entrepreneurship
- Stand Against Racism
- Juneteenth Celebration
Our current endeavor is a collaborative partnership with various organizations focused on the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project sponsored by the Equal Justice Initiative. We continue to depend upon our community leaders and corporate partners to assist us in fulfilling our mission of preserving and advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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All Week. A day-by-day schedule can be found below the sponsors and countdown timer.
Friday January 15: Online Kickoff
- Highlights of 40 Years of MLK Operations
- Introduction to the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project
- Reflections from David Gantt
- Equal Justice Video
- Panel Discussion
Saturday, January 16: Online Prayer Breakfast
Sunday, January 17: Online Say Their Name Service
- Online “Say Their Names Remembrance Service”
- Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Research Update
- Panel Discussion
Monday, January 18: Online Peace March & Rally
Tuesday, January 19: Closing Ceremony
Dr. Oralene Simmons