San Antonio Welcomes Martin Luther King, III and Ilyasah Shabazz
More than 200,000 attendees are expected to participate in the 25th Anniversary City of San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March – the nation's largest MLK Jr. march – on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at 10 a.m. in San Antonio, Texas. A testament to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s impact on all Americans, the march will be accompanied by various events beginning Saturday, Jan. 14 and running through Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Among the highlights of the four-day commemoration, Martin Luther King, III – the eldest son of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King – will deliver a keynote address at this historic celebration. Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of human rights activist Malik Al-Shabazz (widely known as Malcolm X) and Betty Shabazz, will speak at Trinity University’s Guest Lecture Series on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the University’s Laurie Auditorium. Also, the gallery at the Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry, will feature a special exhibit of visual art in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday through Feb. 29.
“The 25th anniversary of the City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration is a major milestone for our community and a testament to San Antonio’s rich cultural and historical legacy. To have Martin Luther King, III and Ilyasah Shabazz celebrate this momentous anniversary by attending our city’s celebration speaks to how important this commemoration of Dr. King’s influence is – not just locally, but to the entire country,” said San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.
Starting in 1987 the City of San Antonio has celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. King with an annual march that now attracts more than 100,000 marchers each year. San Antonio's 25th Anniversary March honors the legacy of Dr. King with the theme “Journey Beyond the March…Live Beyond the Dream…”
The late Rev. Dr. Raymond “R.A.” Callies, Sr., a San Antonio teacher, pastor and founder of the San Antonio MLK, Jr. March, began leading processions in San Antonio honoring Dr. King’s legacy soon after Dr. King’s death on April 4, 1968.
The “Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial City-County Commission,” now referred to as the “San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission” or “MLK Commission,” was established on April 3, 1986, by official act of the San Antonio City Council through City Resolution No. 86-15-19 under the leadership of then-Mayor Henry Cisneros. The MLK Commission is a volunteer organization. On January 19, 1987, chaired by Aaronetta Pierce, the Commission and the City of San Antonio held its first official Martin Luther King, Jr. March.
The march is 2.75 miles and starts at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, travels up Martin Luther King Drive, and ends at Pittman Sullivan Park, all on San Antonio’s historic East Side. At the conclusion of the march and as the commemorative program begins, non-profit organization booths will provide food and refreshments to the attendees to help raise funds for their own organizations. In addition, the event will also include a job fair and health screening programs administered at several booths.
For more information go to www.visitsanantonio.com.
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The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, a department of the City of San Antonio, is funded through the hotel/motel occupancy tax. The bureau is a marketing, sales and service organization dedicated to the promotion of San Antonio as a meetings and visitor destination for the purpose of positively affecting the city's economy.