LIMA — Lima marked the legacy of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday night at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on the eve of the day celebrating King’s birth.
The “I Have a Dream Awards Banquet” was organized by Derry Glenn, the 6th Ward Lima Councilman.
“Our city is too small for two Martin Luther King programs on the same day. We’re blessed to have two. We’re the only city to have two Martin Luther King programs, and we’re very happy about that,” said Glenn.
The keynote speaker was Bishop Donald Washington, of Mount Herman Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus.
Washington remains concerned that King’s dream remains unfulfilled and cites Donald Trump and the current political climate for setting King’s dream back.
“(Trump) has taken everything that Martin Luther King had tried to do, for not only for blacks and poor whites, but for everybody,” said Washington. “When do we start assassinating people from another country? When do we start making sure that the marginalized weren’t taken care of? When did we start making sure our children weren’t fed? This is what’s happening to our country, and no one is speaking out. But I plan to do what I can to bring the natural regular order back to existence in our communities. I’m just one person.”
Washington urges people to turn out on Election Day to affect positive change in our country.
He agrees that the silence among national black leaders is curious.
“I don’t know why they are silent. This new group is very quiet. Maybe it’s because they have these 501c3s and they’re afraid of losing them, but you know you still have to speak truth to power,” said Washington.
Prior to Washington’s speech, several awards were handed out during the evening, including:
Furl Williams Award: Brian Miller.
Mary Coleman Award: Rebecca Kreher.
Larry Watkins Award: Black Lace Hair Salon (Jesse Lowe) and Cecil’s BBQ (Ross Johnson).
Georgia Newsome Award: Jackie Tyree.
Rosa Parks Award: Alice Jackson.
Alberta Shurelds Award: Jana Williamson.
Firefighter of the Year: Chris Jackson.
Foster Parent of the Year: Denise Cobbs.
I Have A Dream Awards: Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin, Camri Nelson, Maha Zehery, Joe Factor, Phil Morton and Kevin Mattox.
Glenn is hosting his 10th annual MLK Day Walk, which begins at 2 p.m. Monday at Reese and Holmes avenues.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.