By Steven Manning
FORT WAYNE—The Martin Luther King Jr. Club is gearing up for its annual Dr. King’s Unity Day Celebration. This will be the 29th year for the event, which is the largest Dr. King celebration in the state of Indiana.
As part of the celebration, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 20, Fort Wayne’s Grand Wayne Center will be the site of numerous presentations, including singers, dancers, youth choirs, poets, pastors and a variety of other performers, all in honor and remembrance of the late, slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The local celebration has a tradition of featuring a keynote speaker for the event. MLK Club is proud to announce that dynamic, influential leader Dr. Carl B. Mack will take on that role next month.
MLK Club President Bennie Edwards said, “Dr. Mack was selected as the main speaker because of his background in education and civil rights.”
Mack was the former president of the Seattle Branch of the NAACP. He holds an engineering degree and is a graduate of Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.
Edwards said Dr. Mack grew up in Jackson, the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.
“Dr. Mack has firsthand knowledge of the struggles that black people endured during those difficult times in our history,” explained Edwards. “We believe he will be the ideal speaker to headline our Dr. King Unity Celebration.
“As the former National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) executive director, Dr. Mack traveled extensively across the country emphasizing the importance of education and achieving the American dream,” Edwards went on to say. “We believe Dr. Mack can connect civil rights and education by bridging the gap that education is the key to our success and the success of our country.”
Edwards said, as someone who found future benefit from the work Civil Rights Era leaders did, Mack embodies the idea of passing on progress to the following generations—a concept about which Dr. King spoke.
“We hope everyone who hears Dr. Mack’s presentation will take away with them the meaning of the words that Dr. King spoke when he said ‘I may not get there with you, but we as a people, will get to the promise land.’ We must all have a thorough understanding that education is the key to Dr. King’s dream.”
ALSO: Next week we’ll focus on the keynote speaker of the Martin Luther King Club Breakfast With The Clergy. He’s Pastor Kenneth Christmon of Fort Wayne’s Turner Chapel AME Church and vice chancellor of Multicultural Affairs ad IPFW. The breakfast is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Jan. 20 at the Courtyard by Marriott, across from the Grand Wayne Center, where the Unity Day Celebration is being held. Reservations are required for the breakfast. RSVP by Jan. 17, 2014. For more information and to RSVP, call Fran Grant at (260) 493-0980.
Steven D. Manning is president and CEO of Manning Video Productions LLC. He can be reached at (260) 247-2517.