DPS’ King High School gears up for 7th Annual Legacy March honoring name sake, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Program to include student-led tours, exhibits and a community march that featurs performances by King, Renaissance, and Cass Tech’s award-winning marching bands

Detroit Public Schools’ (DPS) Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School will honor its namesake at the 7th Annual MLK Legacy March to be held on Monday, January 18, 2016. Representatives from the community, churches, businesses, and sororities and fraternities, in addition to schools from across the metropolitan area will march alongside DPS students during the annual MLK Day event.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., school tours at 9:00 a.m., the MLK Legacy program at 10:00 a.m. and the Legacy March will kick off at 11:00 a.m. The 1.5 mile march begins in front of the school at 3200 East Lafayette.

The annual event was created by a group of dedicated DPS students, parents, and educators to continue to focus on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by moving forward both in personal lives and in the community. Guests will witness King High School transform into a historical time capsule as they take part in student-led tours with interactive information covering the historical civil rights movement up to today.

Performances and highlights:

  • A Performance of “Glory” by King’s award-winning dance troupe.
  • “One Single Rose,” the award-winning Detroit poet writer, playwright, singer and actress. Her spoken word CD, “Poetic Truth” was voted 2015 Spoken Word/Poetry Album of the Year.
  • King, Renaissance, and Cass Tech’s marching bands to perform during the march.
  • Two floats from Detroit’s Thanksgiving Parade, the “Motown” stage float and the 2015 Skillman DPS student float winner Ayana Gross’ float “Family Time.”

Participants and sponsors for this year’s annual march and program include Congressman John Conyers, Senator Gary Peters, Detroit Deputy Mayor Isaiah McKinnon, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, UAW-Ford, Prince Hall Masons and the Parade Company.

The program will also honor six individuals who have selflessly showcased their skills, sacrifices, and generosity in making the community greater.

The 2016 MLK Legacy honorees include:

  • Aretha Franklin, legendary singer and songwriter
  • Bruce Millan, co-founder and artistic director of the Detroit Repertory Theater
  • Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services
  • Ted Phillips, Executive Director, United Community Housing Coalition
  • Gerald “Dip” Bantom, UAW Vice President, (retired)
  • Ron Scott, community activist and journalist (posthumously)

“I am grateful to all who created a legacy that paved the way for us today,” said King High School Principal Dr. Deborah Jenkins. As a professional, I am in a position to utilize this opportunity to make my life matter.”

This year’s Legacy March theme, “My Life Matters,” was created to help encourages students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members to accept the commitment to fulfill the work of service needed to make the community and country more unified where all work together.

“As adults we must encourage and inspire our young people with our actions,” said Michael Joseph, MLK Legacy March Co-Chair. “If we truly believe My Life Matters, our actions will support the importance and purpose of our existence. If My Life Matters, we must do what is essential to make our lives successful and meaningful. The Dream is alive inside of us and the Legacy continues because of us.”

The 7th Annual MLK Legacy March is expected to be the largest event to date. Aside from the interactive tours, there will be live entertainment, free give-a-ways and refreshments for marchers. The event is an open invitation to the public and as a call to action, all attendees will be asked to commit to perform an act of community service during 2016.

“It’s an honor to support the students of King High School as they impact their world through the march each year,” said Karinda Washington, MLK Legacy March Co-Chair and 1996 King Alumna. “If we don’t invest our time and resources into them, who will? Seven years is a blessing but we need more support for DPS throughout the year as this great work continues.”

King Senior Class President Jana Goodwin says students are looking forward to walking and working with the community to keep the legacy of Dr. King alive.

“This is a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how it is now our turn to be the advocates and voice to keep hope alive and change the world.” said Goodwin.

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