Community celebrates MLK day

Kristen Allen/The NewsHenry Watson speaks at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. event in the Curris Center on Jan. 21.

Kristen Allen/The News
Henry Watson speaks at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. event in the Curris Center on Jan. 21.

The event slogan, “Living the Dream: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges,” was a reality for those who attended the 5th annual Martin Luther King Jr. keynote address Monday morning. Students who attended the event consider Jan. 21 not only a day of remembrance, but a day of service.

Following the community breakfast, attendees gathered in the Curris Center Ballroom to listen to Henry Watson.

Watson, a preacher from Lexington’s Main Street Baptist Church, was welcomed by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Regional Outreach and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. President Randy Dunn was also in attendance.

Following the address, a small group of her peers took part in a project called “Bike Ministry,” where participants gathered approximately 115 donated bikes.

“A retired man in Clinton restores all of the bikes and gives them to children in need,” Hall said. “He does it every year and not for profit.”

Ryan Christensen, junior from Lexington, Ky., was excited to listen to Watson, who is a fellow resident of Lexington.

“I was proud that a member of my community was invited to speak at my school on a day like this,” Christensen said. “It was a very good experience.”

Prior to the day of service, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity met near Pogue Library to honor the first black student enrolled at Murray State.

The group then walked to dorm circle to visit the recently dedicated Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Sherri Anderson, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer from Murray State, partnered with Mayfield-Graves County United Way to launch the first “United we Read” project on Jan. 18.

“United we Read” is a project that allows high school students to serve as mentors to children of the community.

Mayfield High School students read biographies on King to the students of Mayfield Elementary. Afterward, the books were donated to participating classrooms by the Mayfield-Graves County United Way.

Story by Steven Hurt, Contributing writer.