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MLK Day celebrations in SWFL

Virtual and in-person programs planned
Posted at 6:03 AM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 06:03:26-05

DUNBAR, Fla. — Martin Luther King Jr. Day will take on a deeper meaning this year, set against the backdrop of outcries for social justice and political unrest. While some gatherings are set to take place virtually, the message is as important as ever.

In Lee County, the community is invited to take part in the 37th Annual Dr. King Multicultural Celebration. It’s one of at least two local celebrations that's still set to take place in person. It’ll start at 11:00 a.m. at the S.T.A.R.S. Complex. It's free and will run until 5:00 p.m.

The parade and community celebration in LaBelle is also still scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. It'll start at the end of Martin Luther King & Cowboy Way.

Whether celebrations happen online or in the community, they are more important than ever.

In 2020, the U.S. faced racial tensions similar to those King experienced during his lifetime. Our country also bid farewell to civil rights activists and King's friend John Lewis last year. So on Monday, many will commemorate the federal holiday by participating in a day of service, just like the two men did while alive.

That’s one way the Collier County NAACP said you can honor King's legacy. Its annual in person celebration was canceled due to COVID safety concerns.

“Even just cleaning up maybe your neighborhood, or helping the elderly, or providing updates on the COVID virus situation. Let it transform directly into your heart,” said Collier County NAACP President Vincent Keeys.

Collier's programming will instead take place at 11:30 a.m. on Webex. The program is as follows:




Presented by NAACP Collier County on Webex 11:30 to 12:30

Barbara Melvin, Moderator

Stand for Pledge of Allegiance

Invocation Reverend Anthony Fisher, Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Lift Every Voice & Sing Keturah Lansiquot, Violinist

Welcome Teresa Lee Heitmann, Mayor of Naples

Speaker Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent Collier County Schools

Speaker Christlie Poteau, Student at Lely High School

Speaker Kevin Rambosk, Collier County Sheriff

Speaker Garrett Richter, Former Florida Senator

Closing Prayer Bishop Rick Neal, Trinity Community Church

(Program subject to change)