Johnson City hosts array of events in January commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Published 9:10 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

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As the nation prepares to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15, various events are set throughout January in Johnson City to honor the civil rights icon and his enduring legacy.
The Johnson City Ministerial Alliance will kick off the series of events with an interdenominational worship service at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, located at 201 Welbourne St. The service is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 10, starting at 7 p.m., and is open to the public free of charge.
On Saturday, Jan. 13, the annual prayer breakfast will take place at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 225 Princeton Road, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The interfaith event honoring Dr. King’s legacy will feature guest speaker Dr. Harold Middlebrook. Tickets for the breakfast are available for $20 per person and can be purchased on the day of the event. Proceeds will support Carver Recreation Center’s annual youth trip to a Civil Rights Movement historic site.
A storytelling event targeting youth aged 6 to 12 is slated for Monday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon at Carver Recreation Center, 322 W. Watauga Ave. The program aims to educate youngsters about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement through engaging storytelling and music.
The day’s events will continue with a unity program and walk starting at noon at Carver Recreation Center. Participants will gather for a brief ceremony before embarking on a unity walk covering less than 2 miles.
In honor of those who’ve given to help others, a blood drive will be held at Carver Recreation Center from 1 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15. Simultaneously, a community information session focusing on Medicaid expansion will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the same location.
Later in the evening, the community will come together for a celebratory dinner honoring Dr. King’s legacy and recognizing individuals who contribute to the community’s welfare. The annual event will take place at Carver Recreation Center from 6 to 8 p.m.
Moreover, a countywide food drive supporting Good Samaritan Ministries and Jonesborough Ministerial Alliance Food Pantries will run through Jan. 15. Donation drop-off locations include Carver Recreation Center, Langston Centre, McKinney Center, and Good Samaritan Ministries.
Beyond the day itself, an art exhibit showcasing works by students from Washington County and Johnson City Schools, inspired by Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, will be displayed at McKinney Center, 103 Franklin Ave., Jonesborough. The exhibit will be open to the public from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, with a public reception scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m.
In an event on Thursday, Jan. 25, at Langston Centre, 315 Elm St., Dr. Paul Ortiz from the University of Florida will delve into the multicultural elements of the modern Civil Rights Movement, specifically focusing on the importance of MLK to the Latino/a community. The session begins at 7 p.m.
For more information about these events, individuals can reach out to Carver Recreation Center at 423-461-8830 or the Langston Centre at 423-434-5785.

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