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:
NAACP COLLIER COUNTY VIRTUAL
24th ANNUAL REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. PROGRAM
MONDAY JANUARY 18, 2021
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)