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Update for upcoming Dr. King commemoration

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

DETROIT — As part of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 Walk to Freedom, the Detroit Branch NAACP, UAW-Ford, General Motors and other community organizations will host “Freedom Walk: We Shall Not Default on Our Freedom” June 21-22 as well as a video contest for high school and college students.

On June 21, there will be “Voices for Action” panel discussions from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. dealing with ending racism, anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia, as well as focusing on jobs, economic development, putting the neighbor back in the neighborhood, ending youth violence and overcoming voting barriers.

Panel leaders will be national and local experts as well as workers in the fields currently providing strategies for new directions. Tony Brown, the original coordinator of the 1963 March, will be a special speaker.

These sessions will be held at the International Training Center of UAW-Ford at 151 West Jefferson. It is free and open to the public.

The march down Woodward Avenue following the same route taken by King will take place June 22.

Expected attendees include: Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP; Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson, founder of Rainbow PUSH; Rev. Dr. CT Vivian, lieutenant to Dr. King; Dick Gregory, comedian and social activist; Martin Luther King III, son of Dr. King; and Rev. Al Sharpton, national talk show host and founder of the National Action Network.

The “Now Is the Time” video contest asks entrants to upload a one-minute video to explain how they are helping with community rebuilding in Detroit — essentially living up to King’s dream.

The public will have the opportunity to vote on the videos, and the winner will be announced June 22, as part of the anniversary celebration.

Detroit previously hosted the 30th commemoration in 1993 and the 40th commemoration in 2003.

More details about the walk, workshops and contest will be provided at weekly community meetings held at the Detroit Branch NAACP office, located at 8220 Second  Ave., every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. through June 19.

For more information, visit or contact the Detroit Branch NAACP at 313.871.2087.

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