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The City of Chicago Heights hosted the 21st annual celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the CH Public Library last week. Dr. King led the Civil Rights Movement, which laid the foundation for the theory and practice of inclusion and diversity in American society and around the world. Though he was assassinated fifty years ago in 1968, Dr. King’s dream lives on, touching the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.The theme for the 2018 Day of Remembrance Celebration was “Living the Dream,” serving as a reminder that when people promote equality, embrace diversity, and fight against injustice they create change.“It is important that our community comes together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and his message of peace, unity, and understanding,” said Mayor Gonzalez.The event featured several speakers and performances honoring Dr. King's legacy.Bishop Ronald White opened the event with prayer and Kim Stratton, a Grammy award winning gospel singer, followed with a beautiful performance. Dr. Terri Winfree, Prairie State College President, spoke about the importance of living Dr. King’s dream in our daily lives before a riveting performance from a Chicago based spoken word group, the Jacksons of Rhema Rhetoric. Local minister and nationally recognized author, Sophia Ruffin, returned this year as the keynote speaker. Her address focused on the importance and impact of purposefully continuing to live Dr. King’s dream.God’s Purpose Praise Dance Group returned for their second year and were followed by a performance from Cornerstone Christian Youth group. Cameron Franklin, the MLK essay contest winner from Bloom 206, read his winning essay while his schoolmate, Kayla Jackson, served as the emcee for the event. Chicago Heights Kiwanis Club was recognized for their continued commitment to the community while Judge James “Jim” Williams was honored with the Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Scenes from the morning's eventsMayor Gonzalez with speakers, students, and honorees