Garland celebrates Martin Luther King Jr

The children's choir performed at last year's MLK celebrations. This year the event will be held virtually on Saturday, Jan. 16.

The city of Garland, Garland ISD and Garland NAACP organized its 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, which will be virtually held on Saturday.

The event will include a series of various videos from community speakers. There will also be musical tributes, a couple of dances, and the infamous, “I have a Dream” speech. The event will also include the program Presentation of Colors in the national anthem by the junior ROTC from Rowlett High school.

“In all of these years we’ve never missed an opportunity to host this event,” said Garland ISD Community Liaison Lakisha Culpepper. “In order to make this happen, we’re going to go live across multiple social media platforms for people to get a sense of what the energy and enthusiasm for this event always is.”

The city of Garland has continued to celebrate MLK Jr.’s legacy to understand the importance of his history. Culpepper explained an African proverb that says that only by going back can we move forward.

“The reality is it is often important that we understand the history of who we are so we don’t repeat it and so that we can learn from what we might have missed the first time around,” Culpepper said. “It’s this idea because of where we are as a nation, it’s more important now more than ever to look at where we’ve come to determine how we proceed and who is willing to go with us.”

Due to the pandemic, the community contributed to the event through collective videos from the comfort of their home. Culepper explained that everyone is excited about the event and it has been a collective support. The event started with about 13 community members but has exceptionally grown since. 

“I cannot begin to express to you that even in the darkest moments where I ask can it get any worse, any more piece of bad news, another tragedy we hear about today. On those days, I am convinced that people are still good, people still want to do the right thing,” Culpepper said. “Without a doubt on those days, people call and donate on those days, how can I volunteer, how can I help. I’ve wept almost weekly because of the generosity of our neighbors.”

The event will be featured on the city’s YouTube, Facebook and news pages and will remain online indefinitely. 

“Above everything else, it’s going to be an opportunity for all of us to reflect and remember, what we’ve said in GISD all year, that we’re better together,” Culpepper said. “In spite of COVID-19, racial unrest, all the things that are happening in our nation, we know without a shadow of a doubt what makes us one is our desire to help make today better than yesterday.”

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