The Terrebonne Parish NAACP Youth Council will host the 2022 Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration program on Monday, January 17, at 10 a.m. at the Downtown Houma Courthouse Square.
The program will feature guest speaker Rev. Hayward Sims Jr. of St. Luke Baptist Church, live music by soloist Candace Washington, and appearances by Parish President Gordon Dove, and elected officials. The Youth Council will also provide a voters registration tent and free coronavirus testing.
Director of the Terrebonne NAACP Youth Council, Diana Collins, said the many hardships the community has faced following Hurricane Ida and the coronavirus pandemic are what inspired this year’s program theme “A Beloved Community.”
“I chose this theme because I want the community to come together, that’s what God wants us to do. That’s what the community is all about, helping one another, sticking together, helping your neighbors and even people you don’t know,” said Collins.
In addition to the celebration of the civil rights leaders’ life, the Youth Council will honor Rev. Kenneth Jackson, Rev. Blair Mitchell, and Rev. Stephen Mosely, for helping the community following Hurricane Ida. “A lot of churches were damaged in the storm which prevented us from having service for a while. There were a few churches that were still standing, and the pastors began sharing their church with us and so we’re honoring them Monday as well,” said Collins.
Following the program, the council will begin a march to Dumas Auditorium at 12:30 p.m., led by the Tri-Parish Military Veterans, and Army Veteran Aronda Smith-Benson.
Collins said the council’s goal is to encourage the community to come out and celebrate the life of the man who fought for the equal rights we enjoy today. “We just want everyone in the community to come out and support what Martin Luther King strived for, for us. Back then, they went through so much, far more than what we’ve endured and I think it’s important for us to keep this going in honor of Dr. King’s name.”
The program will follow CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing and providing masks to guests in attendance.