ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “No lie can live forever, the truth is marching on.” That’s the theme this year for the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Junior Commission event. Organizers spent Monday morning reflecting on MLK Jr’s legacy, as it influences our world in 2021.
The event, happening every year for over 30 years, went virtual for the first time ever this year.
Singing, dancing and reflecting over Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy – all in one celebration. One, that normally fills the halls of the Eastman Theater – but couldn’t this year.
“We’re asking folks to be patient with us, this is our first time, comes with all the technological challenges that one might imagine,” said President of the commission, Simeon Banister.
Some guest speakers included Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, New York Senator Kirstin Gillibrand and Reverend Mark Thompson.
Every year, the event takes into account current happenings – as a basis for reflection. Banister says Monday’s keynote speech made an important distinction between the disturbing insurrection at the US Capitol and the legitimate nonviolent protests for civil rights, equity and human dignity.
“We were wrestling with what to do and the tragic events at the united states capitol happened and when it did it created a call for this event,” said Banister.
Moving forward, Banister says it’s important to recognize what the country has accomplished, while acknowledging the work that lies ahead.
“We encourage folks to come out, take the charge with us pledge the covenant that we are going to continue to work together to build a beloved community,” he said.
The commission also holds a celebration on Juneteenth – a state holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.