By Robert Blankenship

The annual Martin Luther King Day Unity Breakfast – an event celebrating unity and community – will once again be held by organizers in Leeds.

The Unity Breakfast, now in its twelfth year, will be held at Barber Motorsports Museum from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. The theme for this year’s event is “To bring all races of people together to create a better relationship by working together as a team in our community.”

The Unity Breakfast brings people from all walks of life together, not only to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also to bring attention to the need for unity within Leeds.

The event is organized each year by the MLK Unity Breakfast Committee, an organization made up of about 12 volunteers.

“We feel this event is important because of Dr. King’s dream of bringing people together, regardless of race,” said Sandra McCain, a member of the committee. “The way things are today, it is important that we all set aside race and politics to come together as people.”

The committee said about 600 people attended last year’s Unity Breakfast and they hope for even more this year.

“This has become one of the biggest events in Leeds. People really look forward to and enjoy the fellowship,” McCain said.

Special guest speaker for the event is Dr. Randy B. Kelley, a Birmingham native who graduated from Leeds High School is a pastor, activist and political organizer from the Gadsden area.

Dr. Kelley graduated from Jacksonville State University. He obtained a masters degree from Gammon Theological Seminary and a doctorate degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta where he also served as student body president.

Kelley has served as an advisor of the Jacksonville State University Masonic Order and is a former instructor at Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University.

He is also a former talk show host of “Tell It Like It Is,” a past SCLC and NAACP president, former member of the Gadsden City Council, is a current member of the State Democratic Committee Executive Board, is a state vice-chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference, was featured in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, and serves on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Advisory Board.

Serving as this year’s emcee will be Leeds native Charcey Glenn.

Also performing this year will be the Community Praise Dancers and the Leeds Community Choir.

The committee will also be presenting its Dr. Martin Luther King Award for Service and Dedication to two recipients as well as the Earnest E. Carver Leadership Award.

For tickets, or to sponsor the event, call McCain at 901-9033; Glenn at 699-3020; Kathy Dozier at 329-9443, or Sabrina Rose at 747-8160.


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