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



Drivers Education Program Offers Spring Break Course

The Spring 2016 Drivers Education course will be offered March 28, 29, 30 and 31 at the Public Library Downtown, 1001 Broad St., not at Northgate Mall.  The class will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. each of those four days.  In Spring of 2015, the Tennessee State Legislature made legislative changes to restrict the use of traffic ... (click for more)

Saturation Patrols Scheduled For Super Bowl Weekend

Law enforcement agencies across the Cumberland Plateau Region and Eastern Tennessee, including the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, will be conducting saturation patrols on Saturday and Sunday. The saturations will take place from 3 p.m. on Saturday until 11 p.m. on Sunday. Patrols will take place where alcohol-related crashes and DUI arrests have occurred in the past. Officers ... (click for more)

Cleveland School Board Votes 5-2 To Terminate School Director Ringstaff Over Twitter Messages

The Cleveland School Board on Friday fired Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of schools, for sending sexually explicit messages to an anonymous woman a year ago.  His termination is effective immediately and does not include severance pay.  The school board called an emergency meeting after Dr. Ringstaff, who is married, admitted to sending explicit messages to ... (click for more)

History Center Not Giving Out Any More Information On Past Spending Details, Current Status, At This Time

The president of the Chattanooga History Center, which has halted plans for a world class history museum near the Aquarium after raising over $10 million, said no other information will be provided at this time. Chattanoogan.com had sought details about prior spending and the salary of former executive director Daryl Black as well as the center's current status. Jo Coke said, ... (click for more)

A Missing Link In Chattanooga's Crime Prevention Program

I would like to begin by introducing myself. I grew up in Chattanooga and I love this city. As a child, the space program and lunar landings were in full swing. I dreamed of a progressive city. I grew up reading books about space, travel, and superheroes at the Bicentennial Library.  I am the only son of a local pastor and businessman. When I graduated from East Ridge High ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School’s Search Begins

Jonathan Welch, the chairman of the Hamilton County School Board, had no idea he would be giving himself a well-deserved treat some months ago when he promised his son they would go on a mission trip together. This week has to be the first time his phone hasn’t blinked overload since a December tragedy triggered a tsunami and repeated shock waves that crashed the Hamilton County ... (click for more)