The legacy continues – lifting the next generation of dreamers

Ilyasah Shabazz

The annual Martin Luther King Day (MLK DAY) celebration hosted by the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship (IMF) will take place January 12-17 virtually for the second time in its history.

2022 will mark IMF’s 33rd year (1989–2022) hosting the annual celebration of MLK DAY in Nashville and honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event brings thousands of attendees each year in person and is considered a nationally recognized gathering to commemorate Dr. King’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. Nashville’s own activism helped to make this historic holiday a national treasure. Registration is open to all at <mlkdaynashville.com/2022-calendar-of-events/>.

“This year’s celebration lifts the dream, work, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and the continued work needed by all citizens of Nashville,” said Cheryl Mayes, chairwoman of the Nashville MLK DAY Committee.

This year’s keynote speaker is Ilyasah Shabazz.  Shabazz is an American author, most notably of a memoir (Growing Up X), community organizer, social activist, and motivational speaker, and the third daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz.

Nashville’s tradition of celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Day in Nashville has become one of the city’s largest intercultural events in honor of the life and legacy of Dr. King. This year’s schedule includes: a youth rally and the annual convocation, in addition to a social justice art exhibit and a spoken word contest featuring the talents of the youth in our city.

All events are virtual this year. Events include an integration panel that took place Wednesday as well as:

  •    Labor Panel – January 14, 8:30-11 am
  •    Youth Symposium – January 15, 9 am-1 pm
  •    Women’s Panel – January 16, 4 pm
  •    Convocation – January 17, 11:15 am

Dr. King’s role as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and the influence he had on Nashville’s activism makes this long-standing event a national treasure. Dr. King came to Nashville and spoke on several occasions, but it was the organized effort of student leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Music City that inspired him. In fact, Dr. King’s now famous quote describes his feelings: “I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in this community.”   Nashvillians have stood strong for Civil Rights since the beginning and through leadership, strength and determination to end segregation at the diner counters to the role that Nashville plays today.

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