Greater Baton Rouge area comes together for MLK Service Day
BATON ROUGE - People all over the Baton Rouge area honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by engaging in acts of service.
For lots of folks, MLK day isn't just another day off. But rather, it's a day for people to help educate and serve their community.
A two-mile peace march from Gus Young Avenue to Plank Road started off the MLK service day in Baton Rouge.
Four women in purple led the way for the hundreds who marched. Those four women all lost their sons because of senseless violence, something that Dr. King fought against.
"We are called to pull together. Because the bonds that bind us are greater than those issues that are dividing us,” Nicole Allmon-Learson with 100 Black Women of Baton Rouge said.
The Baker city youth group took charge of their own celebration on Monday. They titled the theme of the performance "Fulfillment of the Dream."
"I learned a lot of cool things about Martin, especially his personality. I think he was a very straight forward guy and believed in his beliefs and wasn't going to let anybody bring him down,” Rashad Clark with the city's youth group said.
A lot of busy hands with the Big Buddy program were working a few miles south along Government Street. Volunteers packed boxes of goods to be sent to deployed servicemen and women from Baton Rouge.
“It's always important to show young people what it means to give back. And this is a wonderful way for them to not only give back but to meet other folks who also have it in their minds to give back,” Gaylynne Mack, Executive Director of Big Buddy, said.
Parents and children also came together to spruce up the streets in north Baton Rouge.
"It's really just about loving others in any way that you can,” one volunteer said.
They heard from elected officials about the legacy of Dr. King, and how they as a community carry on that legacy.
“It was Dr. Martin Luther King who said one of life's most urgent questions is 'what are we doing for one another?’" Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
“So many young people are here. And having them have the opportunity to understand not only where we've come from as a community and as a people, but there's hope and life for the future,” Councilwoman Tara Wicker said.
The community cleanup and the MLK festival in Baton Rouge are part of the Walls Project, which works to revitalize the city's neighborhoods.