Leesburg, VA (January 8, 2015) – Families, friends, and community organizations from all over Loudoun County will come together on Monday, January 19, 2015 in Leesburg for the Annual March and Celebration honoring the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Stand Up For Justice – Act!” Keynote speaker will be Dr. Wendi Manuel Scott.
The celebration will begin at 9:00am with a Community Forum at the Douglass Community Center (405 East Market Street, Leesburg), focused on creating a dialogue between youth and elders. The Community Forum will be followed at 10:00am by a special morning program at the Douglass Community Center for those who are unable to participate in the march.
The annual Loudoun County MLK March will begin at the Loudoun County Courthouse in downtown Leesburg at 10:30am. This symbolic march will proceed from the Old Loudoun Courthouse to the Douglass Community Center, formerly the Douglass High School. Local school bands, individuals, families, and community groups will be participating in the march, one of the largest and oldest in the region. Noteworthy in Loudoun County history, Douglass High School was the last segregated black high school in the area, until 1968. Religious and civic organizations and members of the surrounding community are invited to participate and walk together during the March, displaying their banners.
During the March, the eastbound lanes of East Market Street, from Church Street to the Douglass Community Center, will be closed to traffic. Drivers should follow police direction and be prepared for minor delays.
Following the March, refreshments will be served at the Douglass Community Center. Musical performances, presentations, and inspirational offerings will be made by members of the community, highlighted by a speech by Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott.
Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott is the Director of African and African American Studies and an Associate Professor of History and Art History at George Mason University. She helped to research and curate a permanent exhibit in Loudoun County, Virginia documenting the history of the Leesburg Frederick Douglass School and struggles of the African American community in Loudoun County for an equal education.
Attendees to the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration are encouraged to participate in a canned food drive to benefit Loudoun Interfaith Relief. This local charity has a special need for nonperishable meat products. Drop off area for the food drive will be at Douglass Community Center from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm.
The founding sponsors for this event are the Loudoun NAACP, Douglass Alumni Association, Bluemont Concert Series, and the Baha’i Community of Loudoun. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, civic and religious organizations are all welcome to participate. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/MLKMarchLeesburg, call 540-955-8186 or email email@example.com.