How you can get involved in recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The region will recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day throughout the weekend with a number of events. They include featured speakers and marches planned through Monday.

Tammy Kernodle will be the featured speaker at a celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Atrium Medical Center’s Auditorium, located on the fifth floor of the Professional Building on the Atrium campus, 200 Medical Center Drive.

Kernodle is a faculty member in Miami University’s Department of Music. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in choral music education from Virginia State University, and received a Master’s and Ph.D. in music history from Ohio State University. Her scholarship has focused on various genres of African American music, American music jazz, and gender and popular music, according to Miami University.


The fifth annual Martin Luther King All-Black Attire Affair will be held at 5:30 Saturday at Receptions Event Center in Fairfield. Proceeds from the event benefit Louella Thompson’s Feed the Hungry Project.

Keynote speakers for the MLK event include John Carter from Carter Brothers; Middletown High School graduate Wendell Byrd, who worked 18 years with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice; DeAnna White, Louella Thompson’s granddaughter; and Middletown High School and Ohio State product Jalin Marshall, a wide receiver for the New York Jets.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, 3R Development is facilitating a series of workshops on topics including health, finance, fatherhood and community visioning at Atrium Medical Center’s Auditorium.

Also at noon Saturday, there will be a youth oratorical competition, during which students will recite speeches relevant to Dr. King’s message.


The Middletown Area Ministerial Alliance service will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church. Guest speaker will be Middletown Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr.


The MLK Jr. Day Annual Community March will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Booker T. Washington Community Center, 1140 S. Front St., Hamilton.

The message will be provided by David Childs at Pilgrim Baptist Church at the conclusion of the march. The event is open to the public and coffee and doughnuts will be served.

The Middletown NAACP/City Middletown March starts at 10:30 a.m. Monday from the City Building to Second Baptist Church.

The 19th annual Live the Dream: Our Declaration of Unity observance remembers the life, work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s event begins with a morning march on Monday, followed by an awards program and afternoon luncheon.

Marchers are invited to meet at 10:30 a.m. near the base of the clock tower on The Square @ Union Centre, 9285 Centre Pointe Dr. Community leaders will lead the half-mile march west to Union Centre Boulevard, then north to West Chester Road before concluding in the auditorium of Lakota West High School, 8940 Union Centre Blvd.

A community choir will welcome guests into the school building around 11:15 a.m. for a program featuring guest speakers and a historical keynote video address from Dr. King. Entries in the 2017-18 MLK “Making the Grade” youth art and writing contest will be featured at the event and winning students in grades K-12 will present their work.

Activities are coordinated by area volunteers, churches and faith communities in conjunction with the Lakota Local Schools. There is no cost to participate and the public is invited.

Miami University will host a Continuing The Dream celebration on Monday.

Doors open at 10 a.m. and the event starts at 11 a.m. in the Heritage Room of the Shriver Center. Guest speaker is Rodney Coates. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served and free parking is available behind the Shriver Center along Maple Street.

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