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January 11, 2013

School districts prepare MLK programs

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Supporters of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for civil rights and diversity will put on their walking shoes for the 2013 United We Walk event Jan. 20 at West Bloomfield High School.

As in past years, participants will take a ceremonial walk down Orchard Lake Road and back. When the people return to the school, they will head to the auditorium for a program of music and activities that fulfills this year’s theme of “Unity in the Community.”

David Merritt, minister of music at Straight Gate International Church, will be the keynote speaker. Event adult co-chair David Flaisher said Merritt is a West Bloomfield High School graduate.

“With him being a graduate, I think he is going to have an audience and have an interest in talking about ‘Unity in the Community,’” Flaisher said.

Organizers will pick an annual “world leader” whose achievements furthered peace, freedom or justice. Past winners include Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa and presidents Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

After a candlelight vigil, the event will end with a free community dinner sponsored by houses of worship affiliated with the West Bloomfield Clergy Association. “A lot of the local congregations that are part of the clergy association will be bringing some of the food, as well as corporate sponsors,” Flaisher said.

During a Jan. 7 West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees meeting, Treasurer Teri Weingarden said she was excited to hear local students talk about the event.

“Last year, to me, was the most inspirational, motivational United We Walk ever,” she said. “So I’m really looking forward to this year.”

The Walled Lake Consolidated School District will host its 14th annual community-wide Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.

Walled Lake Northern High School will host the event from 5-8:30 p.m. Jan. 21. Guests enjoy a multicultural dinner and see student displays based around the theme “Let Your Voice Be Heard: Speak Up! Speak Out!”

Alec Bender, co-chair of the school district’s Multicultural Committee, said the event will feature African and Mexican dance groups, as well as keynote speaker and Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley. “She is going to be speaking on ‘Every Voice Counts,’” Bender said.

Bender said the event is open to the community, and people are invited to donate canned and boxed goods to the Focus: HOPE food pantry in Detroit.

The Walled Lake Consolidated School District will hold its 14th annual community-wide Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration 5-8:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Walled Lake Northern High School. Learn more about Walled Lake Northern High School, 6000 Bogie Lake Road, in Commerce Township, at www.wlcsd.org or by calling (248) 956-5300.

The 2013 United We Walk event will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 20 at West Bloomfield High School, 4925 Orchard Lake Road, in West Bloomfield. Participants are encouraged to bring warm clothing for the walk. Learn more about United We Walk at www.unitedwewalk.org or by calling (248) 865-6420.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.