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January 12, 2012 12:10 am

This weekend, several community celebrations will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Although Martin Luther King Jr. Day is recognized as a federal holiday on Monday, Jan. 16, programs spotlighting the civil rights activist will be offered in the days surrounding his birthday.


At James Monroe High School auditorium, Multicultural OutReach Effort's sixth annual communitywide celebration will feature special guests, including philanthropist Doris Buffett and Roland Moore, the first African-American student to integrate the school in 1962.

"MORE's mission is to develop a community that utilizes diversity to enrich itself and to bring people together," according to Susan Spears, the group's founder and president. "Dr. King's message of love and equality speaks directly to our mission."

Beginning at 3 p.m., the celebration will include speeches by community leaders, dance performances and the reciting of King's words by students from area schools. Eric Armstead and the Spotsylvania Church of God choir also will provide entertainment.

"It is important that today's generation understands the adversity Dr. King faced and how he overcame it through methods of nonviolence and truth," said vice president Xavier Richardson.

Admission is free. For more information, call 540/760-6525.


In keeping with King's legacy of service, the Bragg Hill Family Life Center's celebration will honor volunteers and veterans from 10 a.m. to noon.

"As the need for service continues to grow, today we honor Dr. King by giving back and making an impact on our local communities," said Joseph Henderson, the executive director of Bragg Hill Family Life Center. "Throughout the year, we are seeing Americans using the power of service to strengthen their own and each other's economic security and making a difference in our community."

Military people and veterans will be recognized with ribbons and speeches, and school administration and officials will also speak. Along with music by local groups, there will also be a presentation of King Spirit Awards to outstanding community volunteers. Posters made by students celebrating the civil rights activist also will be on display.

Admission is free. For more information, call 540/371-3662.

The King George Branch NAACP will hold its annual MLK Breakfast at 9 a.m. at the King George Citizens Center. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Larry Robinson, pastor-elect of Little Ark Baptist Church in Owens. The cost is $15 for tickets/donations. For more information, call 540/775-4312 or 804/742-9999.

The Spotsylvania Sunday School Union also will host a Martin Luther King Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. at the Ramada Inn. Program features a portrayal of Harriet Tubman, LA Davies Praise Dancers and music. Cost is $15. 540/582-6478 or 540/424-0912.


At University of Mary Washington, Marc Lamont Hill will deliver the keynote address for its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Hill, an associate professor at Columbia University, will focus on political activism and social change in a speech titled "Building Toward the Dream: Progress in the Age of Obama." He is recognized as one of the nation's most notable African-American leaders.

The program begins at 4 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium. Free. For more information, visit


The 2007 documentary "King: Man of Peace in a Time of War" will be shown at 6 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411. The film includes interviews with King along with Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and offers an in-depth look at King's dream of peace. A discussion follows. There is no charge for the event. For more information, visit

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