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Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2016 Observance is Monday, Jan. 18


JONESBORO – The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 18, will commemorate the civil rights leader's legacy and achievements.

“The Courage to Love,” the 2016 MLK Celebration theme, will emphasize the lasting impact of King's work.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day March

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day March starts at 10:30 a.m. at the New St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 310 North Main St. in Jonesboro.

The march will proceed along a designated route through downtown Jonesboro to the St. Bernards Auditorium at 505 E. Washington Ave.

The noontime celebration at the auditorium will feature speaker Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, author and educator.  She will be introduced by Dr. Lonnie Williams, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Arkansas State University.

A-State Chancellor Tim Hudson and State Sen. John Cooper of Jonesboro will bring greetings.

The MLK Day events are planned and organized by the Northeast Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee, which is chaired by Rev. Dr. Ray Scales.

Additional program participants representing various churches, organizations and other sponsors will include Rev. and Mrs. Kurbe Newsom, Elder Glen Conley, Cathalene Thigpen-Stephens, MLK Praise Team, MLK Singers, Michael Hooks Jr., and the MLK Dancers.

Speaker: Cynthia Bond Hopson

Hopson serves as the assistant general secretary for the Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the United Methodist Church, headquartered in Nashville.  Previously she taught journalism at the University of Memphis.

An award-winning author with a knack for inspiring women, Hopson's latest book is "The Women of Haywood: Their Lives, Our Legacy," a collection of oral history interviews with professional African American women in Haywood County, Tennessee.

Hopson received a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), her Master of Science in journalism from Murray State University, and her Ph.D. in journalism from Southern Illinois University.  She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the National Association of Black Journalists and the NAACP. 

MLK Jr. Day Service Project

Following the celebration, Arkansas State University students will work together on the MLK Service Project.

Volunteer A-State will host the activities, during which students and other participants will create cards of encouragement for the patients of Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.  The project will run 2‑4 p.m. on the first floor of the Carl R. Reng Student Union (GPS: 101 N. Caraway Road).

For more information about the 2016 MLK Celebration, one may contact a member of the planning committee at (870) 972-2048.

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Cynthia Bond Hopson
Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson