Local coalition to hold MLK events

The Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this weekend, with events designed to pay tribute to the civil rights leader, the group's president and founder announced on Thursday.

King's life and works will be the subject of many celebrations across the nation this weekend, with his birthday being this Saturday, and the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday celebrated on Monday.

The Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County will be just one of many groups doing activities to honor Dr. King, said the group's leader, state Sen. Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro).

In one endeavor, the group will commemorate King's work this weekend with its 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast, and its 26th annual Ecumenical Service.

"He really changed the world through his message of nonviolence and equality, and made all of our lives better as a result," Davenport said. "Because of that, we think it's important to honor his life."

Davenport said the coalition will hold the prayer breakfast on Saturday, at 8 a.m., at the National Archives at Atlanta, which is located at 5780 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow. She said the group will then hold its ecumenical service, on Sunday, at 3 p.m., at Greater St. Peter African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 9540 Fayetteville Road, in Jonesboro.

According to announcements for the events, during the prayer breakfast, William "Sonny" Walker, a former executive director and chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, is scheduled to address the group. The guest speaker at the ecumenical service is scheduled to be Rev. Cleopatrick Lacy, the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Griffin.

In addition to focusing on King's life, the prayer breakfast will also carry an additional view of the civil rights movement. It will be held in the National Archives at Atlanta's exhibit room, which is currently featuring photographs of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, during the mid-1960s and early 1970s.

Davenport said the pictorial exhibit will serve as a poignant backdrop for the breakfast, because it shows some of the efforts that went into gaining equal rights for African-Americans.

"People can walk around there and remember," Davenport said "And, for young people, it is impressive for them to look at those photographs and recount what they've learned about the Civil Rights Movement."

Tickets for the breakfast will cost $17, for adults, and $8.50, for children under the age of 12, and they can be purchased contacting Davenport at (678) 215-9971, or (770) 478-7916. She added that while people can purchase tickets at the door, the Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County is asking patrons to call in advance and make reservations, for planning purposes.

There is no cost to attend the ecumenical service.