Constance Harris sings along to “Amazing Grace” before Southfield’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Walk in 2018. This year’s event will be Jan. 18.

Constance Harris sings along to “Amazing Grace” before Southfield’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Walk in 2018. This year’s event will be Jan. 18.

File photo by Sean Work


Southfield MLK Task Force to host peace parade and virtual program

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published January 16, 2021

 Marchers walk down Civic Center Drive during Southfield’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Walk in 2018. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event will have participants driving in their respective vehicles.

Marchers walk down Civic Center Drive during Southfield’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Walk in 2018. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event will have participants driving in their respective vehicles.

File photo by Sean Work

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SOUTHFIELD — The city of Southfield and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force will host the Driving for Justice Peace Parade followed by a virtual commemorative program Jan. 18.

The theme for the event will be “Justice Now: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is set to begin at 9 a.m. at Hope United Methodist Church, 26275 Northwestern Highway.

All pre-registered cars must arrive at Hope United Methodist Church by 8:45 a.m. to participate in the Driving for Justice Peace Parade. Vehicles should enter from the Civic Center/MLK Drive entrance, where they will be directed to line up for the parade.

Due to COVID-19, all participants must wear a face mask and remain in their cars at all times.

“There was never a thought that we would do nothing,” MLK Task Force First Vice President Faira Glenn said. “We had to recognize this day to keep his memory alive, to let the youth know what we’re thinking, what we’re doing, to celebrate with our community again. This is our 36th year, and we did not want to take that for granted. We’re excited about all our activities.”

The virtual program will follow at noon on Southfield City Cable 15 — Comcast Channel 15, AT&T Channel 99 and Cable 15’s YouTube and Facebook Live — in addition to being aired live through the city’s website at https://bit.ly/Cable15.

The program will include the presentation of the 2021 MLK Community Service Award and the MLK Youth Service Awards.

The MLK Task Force will also be hosting a MLK Day of Service food giveaway following the parade to provide free food for the community due to the continued strain on financial resources for many families. The food distribution will take place in the Southfield Parks and Recreation circular drive in partnership with Gleaners Community Food Bank and other organizations that provide food for those in need.

According to a press release, Southfield was the first city in the state of Michigan to hold a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. peace walk or march. The first one took place Jan. 20, 1986, commemorating the first national observance of King’s birthday.

“It’s very important,” MLK Task Force President Tracey Payne-Tellis said of giving back to the community. “We know what economic times that we’re in at the moment, so that component of the food giveaway is definitely important for our community. We need to take care of one another.”

The walk continues to grow in size and scope each year, with yearlong educational and community outreach activities.

For those involved, it’s an opportunity to showcase just how much of an impact King made on the world. Being able to pass on his legacy and teachings is just one way the organization hopes to make a difference.

For more information, call the MLK Task Force hotline at (248) 924-9MLK or visit www.mlktaskforcemi.org/.

“It’s important to definitely keep that message in what he entailed,” MLK Task Force Second Vice President Sherita Watson said. “That way we can make sure that we’re making a difference and making a change, and being that outspoken person by still believing in Dr. Martin Luther King’s standards and what he believed in, making sure that we exemplify that and make that well known.”

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