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Missoula MLK Day celebration urges community to serve

Posted at 9:07 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 11:08:18-05

MISSOULA — Empower Montana hosted Missoula’s 29th annual MLK Day community celebration Monday night, an event meant to engage the community in a dialogue about race and justice.

In past years, the organization would gather in person, march through town, and host a large gathering with live music and speakers.

But this year, the group offered its celebration virtually, live streaming the artists and speakers on YouTube.

Although the event looked different, organizers say honoring MLK’s work is needed more than ever in our nation’s current moment.

Keynote speaker Dr. Carlton P. Byrd offered the audience a motivational address, encouraging everyone to speak up, help out, and serve.

"Atlanta, Georgia, as you know, is the cradle of civil rights, and when I was in Atlanta and the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday would come along, a lot of people would say that it was a day off, it was a holiday, but we will always remind people that it was not a day off, but it was a day on, a day on of service."

Empower MT hopes to see the community apply Dr. King’s methods of understanding, compassion and non-violence in the days to come.

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