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Community members hope 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations are empowering and meaningful

Public Domain/National Archives

Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in Bowling Green are going to look similar to last year because of the surging omicron variant, but the committee planning the event says they will be more meaningful.

Devastating tornadoes tore through Bowling Green and other parts of Kentucky over a month ago. Relief efforts are ongoing, and communities have started the healing process.

The Martin Luther King planning committee of Bowling Green will hold a virtual celebration on Monday, January 17, to not only to honor the civil rights leader, but to also uplift the community after weeks of hardship.

"We've definitely have proven Dr. King's legacy within the city of Bowling Green. As tragic as it was (tornadoes) it has been a very proud moment because we stepped up," Shannan Dixon, chairperson of the committee said.

Dixon says this year’s program will include musical numbers and multiple speakers from the community. A keynote speech will be delivered by Pierre Quinn, a leadership and emotional wellness speaker.

Monday’s virtual event will be live streamed at 11 am central on the State Street Baptist Church and the M-L-K planning committee Facebook pages.

Dixon hopes that this year’s event will empower the community to continue with relief efforts.

"With the tornado disasters and the COVID that’s going on. We really felt like we needed to do something. Something had to be done in his honor," she said. "But most importantly to definitely say thank you to our community for being as strong as we are."

That’s just one of several events taking place across the region during the holiday weekend.

The Owensboro NAACP is hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Sunday, January 16, at 2 p.m. central at the First Presbyterian Church.

The Hardin County NAACP will hold a virtual luncheon and scholarship event at 10 a.m. eastern on Monday to honor King. Tickets for the luncheon can be found online on the organization’s website.

Former student intern Alana Watson rejoined WKU Public Radio in August 2020 as the Ohio Valley ReSource economics reporter. She transitioned to the station's All Things Considered Host in July of 2020 and became the student reporting and producing specialist in 2023. Watson has a B.A. in Broadcasting Journalism for Western Kentucky University and a M.A in Communications from Austin Peay State University. She is a Nashville native and has interned at WPLN-FM in Nashville. Watson was also a 2nd Century Fellow for Wisconsin Public Radio before rejoining WKU Public Radio. She has received numerous awards for her reporting.
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