Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrated in Redding

Jan 21, 2013 7:47 PM

Its been nearly 45 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, but at celebrations across the North State Monday, it's obvious his message continues to resonate.

Community leaders spoke today about all that has improved since the civil rights movement, and all that still needs change.

The day started with a march symbolizing the marches King lead in the 60's, it held much of the same meaning.

"One of the things Martin Luther King Jr. strived for was overcoming our challenges. So that is why it is important that we come out each year," said Ricky Bennett of the Shasta County NAACP.

Bennett says King's dream is alive today, but the work is not done.

"We need to highlight more that he meant for all of us to hold hands and walk together, not separate ourselves," said Bennett.

"I think there is still a great great deal of work that needs to be done in terms of exhibiting grace and showing respect for people," said Larry McKinney, who believes one of the issues facing our area is a lack of diversity.

"We need to be far more inclusive and to celebrate diversity but also work toward unity," said McKinney

Working toward unity was of course one of Kings main principals, but so was the importance of community service. In addition to using this day to remember Dr. King's message, many people put that to work in a national day of service.

"Dr. King said, if you dont know what to do, go help somebody else feel better," said Eddie McAllister.

Local groups honored King by picking up trash and beautifying a Redding park that holds his name.

"Its important for us to take care of our neighborhoods and our communities so we are out providing this service," said Rashelle Neal with Americorps.

People said Monday they look forward to the Martin Luther King holiday because it is a reminder how far we have come and how far we still have to go.


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