One of the Nation's Largest MLK, Jr. Marches Welcomes Martin Luther King, III and Ilyasah Shabazz

PR Newswire

City of San Antonio celebrates 25th anniversary of City-sponsored march –

SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — More than 200,000 attendees are expected to participate in the 25th Anniversary City of San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March – one of the nation's largest MLK Jr. marches – on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at 10 a.m. in San Antonio, Texas. A testament to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impact on all Americans, this local City-sponsored march will be accompanied by various events beginning Saturday, Jan. 14 and running through Tuesday, Jan. 17.

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Among the highlights of the four-day commemoration, Martin Luther King, III – the eldest son of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King – will deliver a keynote address at the commemorative program that follows the historic march. Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of human rights activist Malik Al-Shabazz (widely known as Malcolm X) and Betty Shabazz, will speak at Trinity University's MLK, Jr. Commemorative Lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the University's Laurie Auditorium.

"The 25th anniversary of the City of San Antonio's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration is a major milestone for our community and a testament to San Antonio's rich cultural and historical legacy. To have Martin Luther King, III and Ilyasah Shabazz celebrate this momentous anniversary by attending our city's celebration speaks to how important this commemoration of Dr. King's influence is – not just locally, but to the entire country," said San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Starting in 1987, the City of San Antonio has celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. King with an annual City-sponsored march that now attracts more than 100,000 marchers each year. The City's 25th Anniversary March honors his legacy with the theme "Journey Beyond the March…Live Beyond the Dream…"

Also as part of this year's event, the office of San Antonio City Councilwoman for District 2 Ivy R. Taylor, the City's Department of Planning and Community Development and the Center City Development Office partnered with Spurs Sports and Entertainment to coordinate beautification projects along San Antonio's Martin Luther King Drive. As the main thoroughfare for the local march, the street is a historical and cultural corridor. Through the Third Annual "Good Neighbor Initiative," volunteers from throughout the city and neighbors along the MLK Drive corridor worked to assist with beautification efforts, such as brush collection, vacant lot and yard cleanup and other special projects.

"The 2012 City of San Antonio MLK, Jr. March is momentous for many reasons and preparations have taken place at various levels to help beautify the March route and the MLK Drive corridor. This is one way to help ensure this tradition truly honors the legacy of Dr. King and is preserved for future generations," said Councilwoman Taylor.

The late Rev. Dr. Raymond "R.A." Callies, Sr., a San Antonio teacher, pastor and founder of the San Antonio MLK, Jr. March, began leading processions in San Antonio honoring Dr. King's legacy soon after Dr. King's death on April 4, 1968.

The "Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial City-County Commission," now referred to as the "San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission" or "MLK Commission," was established on April 3, 1986, by official act of the San Antonio City Council through City Resolution No. 86-15-19 under the leadership of then-Mayor Henry Cisneros. The MLK Commission is a volunteer organization. On January 19, 1987, chaired by Aaronetta Pierce, the Commission and the City of San Antonio held its first official Martin Luther King, Jr. March.

The march is 2.75 miles and starts at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, travels up Martin Luther King Drive, and ends at Pittman Sullivan Park, all on San Antonio's historic East Side. At the conclusion of the march and as the commemorative program begins, non-profit organization booths will provide food and refreshments to the attendees to help raise funds for their own organizations. For more information visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/mlk/.

SOURCE City of San Antonio