Hundreds gathered in Carbondale for the 41st annual MLK 41st Scholarship Breakfast

Hundreds gathered for the NAACP 41st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast held at Southern Illinois University.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 2:42 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2023 at 5:29 PM CST
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Hundreds gathered for the Carbondale NAACP 41st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast held at Southern Illinois University on Monday, January 16.

The event, at the Student Center, started at 7:30 a.m. with the breakfast with a program following an hour later.

Every year many gather to remember the legacy of the late civil rights leader.

“We don’t have to wait ‘till it’s Dr. King’s birthday to do it, we need to walk with each other, talk with each other, work with each other,” said Marilyn James.

James put together an entire booth of memorabilia, all relating to Martin Luther King, Jr., to share with those attending the event.

She reflected on years past when she marched with Dr. King’s sons and wife in Atlanta from 1979 through1981.

“He said you know what, he said I’m a man and I put my pants on just like any other man. And I told him stop playing with me your Dr. Kings son okay, but we became really really good friends,” James added.

Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton was a speaker the breakfast.

She helped share Dr. King’s message with future generations.

“But also to recognize Dr. Martin Luther Kings dream is still something that we are working to make a reality and it’s great to have so much energy in the room about creating Justice, equity and opportunity for all,” said Lt. Gov. Stratton.

Stratton believes the work never ends in making sure everyone’s voice is heard.

“The only way that we can really make a dent in some of the continued injustices that we continue to see in our communities is to band together, be unified and continue to go forward together,” Stratton added.

As many gathered and joined hand in hands at the celebration, Zeneya Scott shared what Martin Luther King Jr. Day really means.

“This mean celebrating my history as a black women, and getting to showcase this to younger generations and just making sure everyone remembers Dr. Martin Luther King and celebrates him and I love that everyone came out, so I think today is really special,” expressed Scott.