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Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated across Missoula - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated across Missoula

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MISSOULA - A number of organizations put on events throughout the city Monday, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

At the Roxy, an extra theater was needed just to fit the large crowd. The turnout was a pleasant surprise to the Roxy and event organizer Jason Forges.

“I think that’s good to see because it shows that people are interested or aware.”

He hopes this interest translates into new possibilities.

“What it means to me is possibility, people I think are uncomfortable with change or think that change cant happen. But who's to say I would be sitting here today if Martin Luther King didn't do what he did? So I think for me it means possibility,” Forges said.

People can make the change Dr. King dreamed of possible by giving back in the same way he did. Ja'Ton Simpson helped facilitate the discussion being held at intermission of the showing of the 2014 film "Selma".

“I think a good way to celebrate would be, probably, an element of service. Giving back, maybe taking yourself out of your immediate picture or circle,” Simpson said.

Jamar Galbreath is a prime example. He helped organize Monday’s march across the Higgins Street Bridge and the celebration afterward in St. Paul Lutheran Church.

“This is sort of the project of Dr. King’s legacy, being able to have a community rally behind a great cause and reach across multiple lines and really embrace diversity in a truer sense," Galbreath said.

Missoulians also observed the holiday through events with themes based on Dr. King's quote: "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

A youth rally at Caras Park brought together people to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The rally was followed by a march across the Higgins Street Bridge, and a service at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Activists and speakers celebrated his work and encouraged continued efforts towards social justice.

A keynote address was given by Mayor Wilmot Collins of Helena, who is believed to be the first African American mayor of a Montana city.

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