Locals Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King; 50 Years After "I Have a Dream" Speech

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LANSING (WILX)-- January 21st marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. Every year the Martin Luther King Junior Holiday Commission in Lansing hosts a luncheon in his memory showing that his message is still as strong as it was five decades ago.

This year the luncheon had record numbers, with more than 1,400 people showing up at $35 dollars a plate.

"We have the audacity to believe we can live in a world where justice reigns for everyone no matter what you believe, who you love, no matter where you worship, how you worship, no matter what color you are or what gender," said MLK Commission Chair Elaine Hardy.

While Dr. Kings speech has inspired so many of our time, luncheon speaker Jacque Reid spoke of a journey not yet finished.

"There's along way to go. We are living parts of it. I think we have come a long way as a people but I think there is more to accomplish," said Reid.

Money raised from the event will be used by the commission to give $10 thousand dollars in scholarships and $2,500 in essay awards to children around the area.

Students from both MSU and Cooley Law School also decided to spend their day off to honor Dr. King by participating in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. MSU students decided to help out at the Greater Lansing Food Bank and students from Cooley Law School helped out at the humane society.

"I feel that you can't live forward in life if you can't give back to others who don't have. It's really important for me to give back however I can," said MSU student Ronida Powell.

Michigan Congressman John Conyers introduced the first motion to make a federal holiday in honor of MLK in 1968, just four days after he was assassinated. President Reagan made it official in 1983, and by 2000 all fifty states recognized the holiday.

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