Mooresville’s annual Martin Luther King Kr. Day Peace Walk and Breakfast focused on carrying the civil rights leader’s dream forward.

The annual event, held at the Charles Mack Citizen Center, was spearheaded by Mooresville’s Community Relations Committee.

Mario King, master of ceremonies, spoke about the importance of helping others and moving forward.

Quoting Dr. King, he said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

Mayor Chris Carney, who read the official town proclamation for the MLK holiday, agreed.

“We all want to see our community moving forward,” he said. “Martin Luther King wanted to move forward — not by being treated better, but just the same.”

Mooresville Graded School District Superintendent Jason Gardner shared that MGSD is constantly moving forward by making sure all students are included and given an equal education.

“MLK understood the transformative power of an education and that it was a fundamental right of all,” he said.

Keynote speaker Dr. Bill Russell spoke on the work that still lies ahead.

“His speech has been a projection and hope nearly 60 years later,” he said. “That wasn’t his intent but our reality.”

It’s everyone’s job to stand up for the marginalized members of our community, Russell told the crowd.

“Empathy is the bridge that connects us all,” he said. “We need to elevate the voices of the oppressed.”

Quoting from Luke 6:45, Russell said that people either bring good or bad things out of their heart.

“If you want to know who a person is, all you have to do is listen to them,” he said. “If you listen long enough, they will reveal themselves.”

Russell listed the names of victims of police brutality, saying that those victims didn’t have voices but became victims of people who should be trusted.

Referencing MLK again, he said: “We need to use love, not violence. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”


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