'Remembering Coretta' is Tuesday


Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:17 p.m.

A civil rights leader in her own right, Coretta Scott King, the beloved wife of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be honored and remembered with praise, prayer, music, and a special tribute by her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters during "Remembering Coretta," a King Celebration 2014 observance program.

Facts

‘REMEMBERING CORETTA’

* What: The King Celebration 2014 “Remembering Coretta” observance.

* When: 6 p.m. Tuesday.

* Where: Upper Room Church of God in Christ, 3575 NE 15th St.

* Information: Call 352-246-8071.

It will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Upper Room Church of God in Christ at 3575 NE 15th St.

"The whole purpose is to honor Coretta," said Diyonne McGraw, vice president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Florida. "All great leaders have had wives that supported them."

McGraw said Lauren Crawford, a member of the Iota Lambda chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. at the University of Florida and a third-year student in the UF College of Journalism, will be the keynote speaker.

"I'm very honored and excited to have been asked to be the keynote speaker," said Crawford. "She was in the forefront with her husband and she was a rock for her husband," said Crawford, who is from Pembroke Pines. "She was a wife and activist. There may not be a holiday to remember her, but she is still very significant in our history."

Rik'ki Jackson, also a member of the UF chapter of the sorority, will serve as the mistress of ceremonies. There will be performances by the King Celebration Choir and the Mount Moriah Men of Tomorrow mime dance group comprised of boys ages 4-7, and the tribute, which McGraw said will be different from previous years.

The first lady of the civil rights movement, Scott King was born on April 27, 1927, in Marion, Ala., and died at the age of 79 on Jan. 30, 2007. She was an author, activist, civil rights leader, and the recipient of the 2004 Ghandi Peace Prize, named after the late Mahatma Ghandi, an anti-war activist, and awarded annually to recognize individuals and institutions for their contributions toward social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and peaceful resistance. Dr. King was the recipient of the 1964 Ghandi Peace Prize.

McGraw said Scott King was King's rock.

"He wouldn't have been successful without her," said McGraw. "She was his rock. She supported his vision. Even when he passed away, she continued the struggle."

Talent extravaganza

The community is invited to an evening featuring children from elementary to high school letting their talents shine for a chance to win some cash at the 4th annual Youth Talent Extravaganza.

Presented as part of King Celebration 2014, the extravaganza will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at the King Center at 1028 NE 14th St. Julius Long of J. Long Productions will serve as master of ceremony.

McGraw of the King Commission said students in elementary, middle and high school will engage in a friendly competition in singing, dancing and drama presentations in their own category for a chance to win cash awards of $150 for first place, $75 for second place, and $50 for third place.

Entertainment also will be provided by some of last year's winners, including Devon Gainey, who won in the middle school category.

McGraw said the event offers an opportunity for students to shine and gain self-esteem. She said it also opens doors for performances throughout the year. They also have an opportunity to open a savings account with their winnings.

"We're giving them an opportunity to open an account and to sow a seed to save for their dream," said McGraw, adding that last year 175-200 residents attended the event.

For more information, call 352-246-8071.

Block Party

Music, singing, dancing, speakers, food, HIV and STD testing and lots of important information that can very well save a life will be delivered at the "Road to Zero" Block Party.

Presented as part of King Celebration 2014, the block party, now in its second year, will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the King Center at 1028 NE 14th St.

Gainesville Police Officer Jacques LaFrance, founder and organizer of the event, said the purpose is to raise awareness about violence, drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. LaFrance said speakers will discuss such topics as bullying, violence, drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. There will be games and raffles. Teens will have an opportunity to test their knowledge of topics discussed and compete for a free iPad Mini and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Pizza will be provided by Domino's.

LaFrance said 300 residents attended the event last year.

LaFrance said he hopes those who attend start to realize that the community has been "really" affected by bullying, violence, drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases.

"I hope they help to create awareness, share the word and learn where they can go to get help with these issues," LaFrance said.

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