The Terrebonne Parish NAACP will start its 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration with the Terrebonne Parish NAACP Youth Council’s “Salute to Greatness” award ceremony at Dumas Auditorium on Sunday, January 19 at 5 p.m.
Terrebonne Parish 32nd Judicial District Judge Juan Pickett and Rev. Mark Lewis of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in New Iberia will each be honored with the Salute to Greatness award that evening.
“[Lewis] does a lot for our community — Terrebonne Parish,” said Diana Collins, youth director of the organization. “And that’s what King was talking about, a ‘beloved community.’”
“Judge Juan Pickett is also working with the community, trying to save our young kids,” Collins said.
The ceremony will feature entertainment, including guest speakers, mime dancers and choirs.
Refreshments will be served as well.
Collins said the event is free and everyone is welcome.
The festivities will continue at the Courthouse Square in Downtown Houma on Monday, January 20 at 9:30 a.m.
There, Rev. Howard Smith of Residence Baptist Church in Houma and public officials will give remarks.
Following the speeches, attendees will be able to participate in a march from the Courthouse Square to Dumas Auditorium.
The march will feature the Oaklawn Jr. High band, steppers and equestrians and their horses.
Rev. Corion Gray of New Zion Baptist Church will be the guest speaker at Dumas that day.
Catherine Carter, Margie Scoby and Alvin Tillman will each receive the Salute to Greatness award that afternoon.
“Margie and Alvin were instrumental in opening the [Finding Our Roots African American Museum],” said Sheri Ezell, secretary of the Terrebonne Parish NAACP. “Catherine Carter is a longtime educator who does everything. She is always caring and helping others.”
Food vendors will be selling chicken and sausage gumbo, seafood gumbo and fried fish, among other dishes, during Monday’s festivities.
There will also be a bounce house, horseback riding and a snowball stand.
Information will be distributed about the 2020 Census and healthcare as well.
The event is free and open to the public.
Although the celebration will be honoring individuals from the Terrebonne Parish community, Ezell and Collins noted the importance of it honoring King’s legacy.
“We have come this far from someone that put their life out there on the line for us, fighting for us to be able to walk the streets and live freely,” Ezell said. “If it wasn’t for our forefathers, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
“We still want to keep Dr. King’s vision alive. We cannot forget that if it wouldn’t be for Dr. King, we wouldn’t even be able to march or vote,” Collins added. “…This is why it is important for Terrebonne Parish to come out and support this celebration of Dr. King and try to keep it alive for our future.”