Community plans countywide celebration, other events to honor King

CHAMPAIGN — The 12th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Countywide Celebration is set for 4 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil St.

The cities of Champaign and Urbana, the Champaign County board, Parkland College and the University of Illinois co-sponsor the event.

This year's theme is "Having the courage to overcome the mountain." The keynote speaker is Ernest G. Green, member of the Little Rock Nine.

The event also will feature musical performances by Barrington Coleman and the Mo' Betta Music Program under the direction of Nathaniel Banks.

This event is free and open to the public.

Other UI and community events related to King include:

— Wednesday service projects at the Wesley Evening Food Pantry: truck unload, 12:30 to 2 p.m.; pantry set-up, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; volunteer training, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

— Thursday day of service at the Wesley Evening Food Pantry: food distribution, 4 to 8:30 p.m.

— Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. Advocacy for Justice Community Celebration at Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts: 5 to 7 p.m. (4:30 p.m. pre-music).

— Jan. 21 Unity Breakfast at Parkland College: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

— Jan. 21 MLK Youth Commemoration and Afternoon of Service at Urbana Civic Center: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

— Jan. 21 MLK Day of Service at Multipurpose Room 2025 AB, Activities and Recreation Center, UI campus: 1 to 4 p.m.

— Jan. 25 Teacher workshop "Teaching and Learning about the Civil Rights Movement" at UI College of Education: time and specific location to be announced.

— Jan. 26 MLK Community Celebration presentation of MLK Writing Contest winners at Krannert: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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