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Several community celebrations will honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Although Monday is a local, state and federal holiday, programs spotlighting the civil rights activist will be offered in the days around King's birthday.
At James Monroe High School auditorium, Multicultural OutReach Effort's sixth annual community celebration will feature guests including philanthropist Doris Buffett and Roland Moore, the first African-American student to integrate the Fredericksburg school in 1962.
"MORE's mission is to develop a community that utilizes diversity to enrich itself and to bring people together," said 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. today, 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.
The Bragg Hill Family Life Center's celebration will honor volunteers and veterans from 10 a.m. to noon Monday.
"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 the Rev. Joseph Henderson, the executive director of the center off Fall Hill Avenue in Fredericksburg.
Military people and veterans will be recognized with ribbons and speeches, and school administrators and officials will also speak. Along with music by local groups, there will 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. The program features a portrayal of Harriet Tubman, LA Davies Praise Dancers and music. The cost is $15; 540/582-6478 or 540/424-0912.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18
At the University of Mary Washington's Fredericksburg campus, Marc Lamont Hill will deliver the keynote address for the 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."
The free program begins at 4 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium. For more information, visit umw.edu.
THURSDAY, JAN. 19
Also at UMW, 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 and Colin Powell, and offers an in-depth look at King's dream of peace. A discussion will follow the free event. For more information, visit umw.edu.