Julian Bond to Speak at MLK Day Celebration
The City of Columbus Community Relations Committee will be holding the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Monday afternoon. This year’s breakfast, march and ceremony will feature a different route from years past and remarks by politician, activist and Civil Rights legend Julian Bond.
Lourdes Barroso de Padilla, who is working with the city to produce the day’s events, said that instead of starting at City Hall and proceeding to the Veterans Memorial as it has in previous yeas, Monday’s march will start with an open house at the King Arts Complex from noon to 4 pm. From the King Arts Complex, the march will travel along Mt. Vernon Ave, Spring Street, and turn down Long Street past the Cultural Wall, finishing at the Lincoln Theater.
Barroso de Padilla said part of the reason for the change in route was so that the march could go through a historically black community, bringing “another layer of richness to the march and the celebration and what it means for this community.”
Attendees to the Lincoln Theater will hear remarks by Mayor Michael Coleman and City Council President Andrew Ginther, but the keynote address will be delivered by Julian Bond.
“It’s going to be kind of a reflection on the past and how far the civil rights movement has come but then also how far we have to go,” said Barroso de Padilla of Bond’s speech.
Bond was both a member the Georgia House of Representatives and a Georgia state senator, but made history as a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC or “snick”) and as the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bond was also president of the NAACP for 12 years.
Barroso de Padilla said one of the themes of the celebration will be “broadening the scope of civil rights and what that means.”
“Martin Luther King’s vision was really civil rights for all,” said Barroso de Padilla. “He was a promoter of civil rights across the board and so that’s really the interpretation that we’re trying to move towards.”
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