Unity Group's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Starts Wednesday

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Unity Group’s 43rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is a series of activities commemorating the work of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration ends on Jan. 21, the same day that President Barack Obama will take the oath of office for the second time.

This year's theme is "Focus 2020: A New Generation Defines Its Freedoms." 

Martin Luther King knew that gaining civil rights came with a high price tag but the payoff could guarantee the economic success of his race. 

Many waves of struggling people still come to American shores seeking economic, social and spiritual freedom.  Patrick Henry, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman fought to define the freedoms of their generations.  They were ridiculed, jailed or murdered for seeking equality.

"I believe that the challenge for today’s youth is to see the relationship between the civil rights movement and the freedoms they enjoy, today," said Erran Persley, who will be a keynote speaker for the Unity's Group's upcoming Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

"Today, African Americans continue to be second class citizens because we have very little collective net worth," said Quenston Coleman, chairman of the Unity Group’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.  "Every dollar we earn is spent with some other ethnic group.  Freedom is the process of removing barriers that separate us and the act of opening the doors of opportunity to choose our personal pathways."

The events begin Wednesday morning with a Children's Rights conference and a community worship service that same evening.  A prayer breakfast, a Dr. King birthday party and a memorial march and program complete the scheduled activities. 

Mr. Persley volunteers to teach an economics and research class f or inner-city high school student to prepare them for college and work.

"We're trying to balance the playing field. It's not something you always get paid for," he said. "You just have to realize that if we're all connected together, we have to take care of each other." 

2013 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Wednesday, 9 a.m.
Children's Rights Conference
Second Missionary Baptist Church, 2305 E. Third St.
Speaker: Helen Adams, coordinator, Tennessee Minority AIDS Initiative 

Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Community Worship Service 
Westside Baptist Church, 4001 Hughes Ave.
Speaker:  The Reverend Susan Butler, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church  

Saturday,  9 a.m. Annual Prayer Breakfast          Donation $15
Second Missionary Baptist Church, 2305 E. Third St. 
Speaker: The Reverend Kevin M. Smith, pastor, New City Fellowship Church 


Sunday, 4 p.m.  Dr. King's Birthday Party 
New Zion Baptist Church, 809 East M. L. King Blvd.
Speaker:  Ashton Alexander, youth minister, New Emanuel Missionary Baptist Church  

Monday, 4 p.m.  Memorial March
From Olivet Baptist Church at 740 East ML King Boulevard to Tivoli Theatre at the Corner of Sixth and Broad Streets

Monday, 5 p.m. Main Program
Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
Keynote Address:  Mr. Erran F. Persley, U. S. Department of Commerce Washington, DC



Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County: U.S. 27 (I-124) widening from I-24/U.S. 27 interchange to north of the Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River, including widening the Olgiati Bridge:  Work on this project continues.  The speed limit on U.S. 27 in the construction zone has been lowered to 45 MPH.  The contractor may have temporary ... (click for more)

Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Service In Marion, McMinn, Wilson Counties On Saturday

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Marion, McMinn and Wilson Counties on Saturday.  Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 322,000 households have properly disposed of more than 21 million pounds of material, according to officials. “It is our goal to make disposing of household ... (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)