The Mountain Empire will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over the weekend through a variety of programs being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A virtual program is being held today at 2 p.m. by the Appalachian Peace Education Center from Abingdon. In the past, APEC has hosted a parade and church gathering to remember King.
The community will remember King online with song, prayer and reflections from students on the question: “Where do we go from here?”
Individuals interested in the program can find a link to join today at www.ywcatnva.org/mlk/.
Another online program will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, when individuals can also visit www.ywcatnva.org/mlk/ to view the program. The event, based in Bristol, is hosted by the Bristol MLK Committee and YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
The hourlong Bristol event will feature readings, music, reflections and inspiration from community and faith leaders to honor King’s legacy and teachings.
The Abingdon and Bristol events are based off King’s prophetic book of the same name, written in 1967, a year before his 1968 assassination, a news release states. In the book, King reflects on the progress of a decade of civil rights efforts at a pivotal moment in history.
In addition, an ongoing food drive in honor of King will continue through Jan. 31, according to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Feeding Southwest Virginia. A news conference regarding the drive is scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m.
The Sullivan County Democratic Party is gathering supplies from volunteers geared toward the National Day of Service in honor of King. The supplies will go toward goody bags for the volunteers and workers manning the COVID-19 vaccination site at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Donations for the volunteers can be dropped off at the Sullivan County Democratic Headquarters at 2530 Volunteer Parkway from 1-4 p.m. today and Sunday and from 8-9 a.m. Monday. Items will be delivered to the speedway on Monday at 10 a.m.
Emory & Henry College also has a number of virtual events planned. They can be viewed at www.ehc.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion.
“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Convocation is a moving program for the campus and community of Emory & Henry College,” said John Holloway, vice president of DEI. “Each year this dynamic event draws the interest of our students, staff and faculty, where we collectively celebrate and honor the social justice teachings of Dr. King and other influential Civil Rights pioneers. I’m excited to have worked with some remarkable folks who made up the MLK Planning Committee and who assembled an impressive weeklong list of insightful programs and activities.”
On Sunday, E&H will host a Zoom event on anti-racism. Jamal Hopkins will speak at 1 p.m. Then, at 3 p.m., the college will host a panel of religious leaders on the legacy of King. The event will also be held via Zoom.
On Monday at 10 a.m., the college will host historian Danielle McGuire, who will speak about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, via Zoom.
Individuals interested in the E&H programs can find links to view the programs at https://www.ehc.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion/news-events/dei-week/.