The theme of this year’s celebration is “Community: A Vision for Our Future”, focusing on the dream of achieving racial equality and harmony in our community and nation.

29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Scheduled for Monday, January 20, 2020, Downtown Leesburg

Marchers will gather on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn in downtown Leesburg at 10 a.m. and will proceed from the courthouse on East Market Street to the Douglass Community Center (405 East Market Street) beginning at approximately 10:15 a.m. Individuals, families, churches, and community organizations are invited to participate and walk together during the march.

East Market Street, from King Street to Church Street, will be closed at 9:30 a.m. in preparation for the march. Once the march begins, rolling street closures will take place in the eastbound lanes of East Market Street, from Church Street to the Douglass Community Center, as the parade proceeds. Drivers should follow police direction and be prepared for minor delays.

Following the march, refreshments will be served at the Douglass Community Center. Musical performances, presentations, and inspirational offerings will be made by members of the community, including keynote speaker Dr. Jason Nichols.

Nichols is an award winning full-time lecturer in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland College Park and was the long time editor-in-chief of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journey of Hip Hop Culture, the first peer-reviewed journal of Hip-hop studies. Nichols is also a progressive political and social analyst whose work has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Foxnews.com, NBCNews.com, and more.  Dr. Nichols currently cohosts “The Fifth Element” talk radio show on WPFW 89.3fm in Washington, DC.

There will also be a community forum offered at Douglass from 9 to 10 a.m. featuring a dialogue between youth and elders.

Attendees to the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration are encouraged to participate in a canned food drive to benefit Loudoun Hunger Relief. This local charity has a special need for nonperishable meat products. Drop off area for the food drive will be at Douglass Community Center from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The founding sponsors for this event are the Loudoun NAACP, Douglass Alumni Association, Bluemont Concert Series, and the Baha’i Community of Loudoun. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, civic and religious organizations are all welcome to participate. For more information, contact Tammy Carter at 571-331-4721, Kimberly Etherith at 703-314-1491 or Lily Dunning at 540-539-5651

 

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