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East Texans gather to celebrate Dr. King, encourage service to others

In East Texas, members of the community came together for the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Interfaith Community Program.
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 4:11 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2022 at 7:00 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In East Texas, members of the community came together for the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Interfaith Community Program.

Music, chants, and powerful words were shared with members of East Texans on this Martin Luther Jr. Day. LaRhonda Hamilton and members of her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, were on the square and marching downtown.

“With Zeta we are for service and that’s what Dr. Martin Luther King was about service. And he was about justice and we know that justice is supposed to be everywhere and we continue to march and make sure that justice is everywhere and that his words and his dream continue on,” Hamilton said.

The Tyler police chief, Tyler mayor and Smith County sheriff were among the officials in attendance.

Gloria Washington is with the Texas African American Museum and said it’s important to keep persevering to make sure change happens.

“If we don’t get out, let our voices be heard, let our ideas, our thoughts be known, that dream may die,” Washington said. “And we don’t want that dream to die. We want the dream to live on and we want to incorporate other dreams as to where we can make America greater.”

From the square, attendees marched down Broadway to the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception where CEO of Goodwill Industries, Kimberly Lewis, spoke. Her words were centered around this year’s theme, ‘Everybody Can Be Great Because Everybody Can Serve.’

“Service is an action word. So that means it’s a verb. It means you actually have to get up and do something. First you have to formulate in your mind and in your heart that you want to do something,” Lewis said to the crowd. “Is it a smile, is it a prayer? Is it a helping hand at the soup kitchen? What is the level of service that you, individually, can render? Don’t look to everybody else.”

Today’s events in Tyler were sponsored by Tyler Together Race Relations Forum. They credit the work of everyone in town for making the 36th annual event happen.

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