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PRESS RELEASE
2016 DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. EVENTS

Beginning January 15th, 2016, the Committee for King, along with the City of Tupelo, corporate sponsors and church sponsors, will come together to host one of the largest Dr. Martin Luther King celebrations in the State of Mississippi.

On Friday, January 15th, beginning at 6 pm at the Tupelo Civic Auditorium (Tupelo Middle School), more than 500 area youth will kick off this celebration in honor of Dr. King by exhibiting a vast variety of talent performed by choirs, drill, drama, and praise teams. This event is free to the public, and free pizza and other refreshments will be served to our youth. Tupelo 2000 and AT & T will host this event.

On Saturday, January 16th, former MS Circuit Court Judge, Honorable W. Barry Ford, will be the keynote speaker at the ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. BANQUET. The first-time-ever Image Award will be presented to Lane Chapel Male Quintet of Tupelo, MS. The MLK Community Service Award will be given to Councilman Willie Jennings of Ward 7, Tupelo, MS. This event begins at 7 pm at the St. Paul Christian Life Center, 475 N. Front Street, Tupelo, MS.

The Sunday Commemorative Service, co-hosted by the City of Tupelo and Committee for King, which will start at 2:30 pm, will commence with over 500 area youth saluting Dr. King. The Emcee for this event is MS Attorney General, Jim Hood. The Committee for King will present the renowned attorney, Melvyn R. Leventhal, who practiced civil rights law in Mississippi and New York during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Mr. Leventhal litigated landmark cases in The Supreme Court of the United States and in many other federal trial and appellate courts. He was a member of the staff of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. and a partner in the Jackson, MS law firm of Anderson, Banks, Nichols & Leventhal. President Obama has described the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund as “simply the best civil rights law firm in American history.”

The year 2016 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Meredith-Mississippi March from Memphis to Jackson. Mr. Leventhal participated in that March as an advisor to Dr. King; his speech will focus on his personal experiences with Dr. King during that March and on his other work in Mississippi, and how we can use the lessons learned from those experiences to address the human rights issues we face today. We believe that Mr. Leventhal’s perspective is unique and that his remarks will be of historic significance.
The Drum Major Award recipients, this year, will be presented at the Commemorative Service to two historically significant individuals: Former MS Supreme Court Judge, Fred Banks, and the keynote speaker, Attorney Melvyn Leventhal.

The 2016 Celebration will culminate with a motorcade being led by the Modern Beauticians Club, various area radio stations, City of Tupelo officials, and notable leaders of our community. The motorcade will begin at 11 am at the VF Outlet Mall, Veterans Blvd., & will end at St. Paul Christian Life Center for a powerful sermon to be delivered by Pastor Artis Webber, East Baptist Church of Pontotoc, during the 12 (noon) Birthday Celebration. This Birthday Celebration will be hosted by the Modern Beauticians Club.

ALL EVENTS, EXCEPT FOR THE BANQUET, ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC. For more information contact Eloise Mayfield, Coordinator, at 662-841-8844.