Honoring MLK's legacy of truth and justice

On Monday, we will pause to honor the life and legacy of minister and civil rights advocate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

There will be events around the country, including locally, celebrating King's leadership and influence that played a key role in helping African Americans receive equal rights.

The 32nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Celebration will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Shawnee Park Center. Keynote speaker is the Rev. Juliet Hemphill.

On Monday, the National Day of Service Humanitarian Food Drive will be held at the Osage Centre and Shawnee Park Center. Individuals are encouraged to drop off donations of food, blankets and toiletries.

Southeast Missouri State University will hold its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner on Jan. 26. This year's keynote speaker is Judge Brian S. Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Judge Miller, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008, has had a distinguished judicial career. He was chief judge on the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2012 to 2019. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. at the Show Me Center.

On Feb. 5, a Unity March will be held starting at One City, 610 Independence St. in Cape Girardeau.

You can read about other MLK and Black History Month events on Page 2 of the Southeast Missourian and online at semoevents.com.

King preached not about equality of outcomes but rather equality of opportunity. Treating others as we would want to be treated. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," he famously said.

King believed in an America where everyone, with hard work and dedication, could succeed. Are we perfect? Certainly not. But with God's grace, we seek a grander vision -- a vision Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently championed.