Building Stronger Communities: The Grand Strand’s 12th Annual MLK Celebration
We hope you will participate in the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Celebration, which will take place Jan. 12-15 in Myrtle Beach, featuring events designed both for fun and for community and individual opportunity and progress.
Chaired by Bennie Swans, chairman of the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation, who also is chairman of the Horry County Democratic Party, the four-day event will bring together people of all races and political persuasions to commemorate the 55-year anniversary of the historic March on Washington and Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28k 1963.
The Celebration’s theme is “Building Stronger Communities” and is intended to remind us of the personal and public values preached by Dr. King and his vision of a united, colorblind society.
“Racial differences among us are faced every single day, but we never really talk about them with each other,” said Swans. “It is the elephant that sits in the room all the time. We hope to shape the conversation so we can improve race relations in our community and help realize Dr. King’s dream right here in South Carolina.”
The Celebration will open with a welcome reception and mixer at the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce the evening of Friday, Jan. 12, followed by the opening of the Grand Strand MLK Film Festival from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Presented will be local films videos, TV shows, documentaries and public service announcements. The Film Festival will conclude Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.
Economic Development Summit
Saturday, Jan. 13 will feature the MLK Regional Economic Development Summit, also at the Convention Center, which will offer a job fair and small business workshop, as well as a keynote address by Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC).
Participants will include SC Rep. John King, chairman of the SC Legislative Black Caucus, and state, city and county representatives, economic development directors, SC Works, Call Me Mister, Pittsburgh Institute for Aeronautics, Tidelands Health, Ride and Decide, HGTC, SBA, SCORE and the SC Department of Commerce. The CCU Inspirational Ambassadors Choir will perform at 11 a.m. Master and Mistress of Ceremonies will be Bob Gatty, communications coordinator for the Horry County Democratic Party, and Christel Bell, anchor/reporter at WMBF News, respectively.
“Our goal at the Summit is to introduce people to new opportunities and help build for the future,” said Swans. “Job opportunities and training will all be offered, while at the same time members of the Black Legislative Caucus will come together with other officials to look at issues involved with economic development.”
The Job Fair & Employability Workshop will provide opportunities for job interviews, assistance with the preparation of resumes, and potential employee best practices. The Small Business Workshop will cover state, county and city procurements, SBA, federal and South Carolina assistance, nutritionists, farms and healthy living. All entrepreneurs are invited to attend.
On Sunday, an Ecumenical Worship Service will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Sandy Grove MBC, Carver St., Myrtle Beach. Special guest pastors and choirs will participate. As with all MLK Celebration activities, all are invited to attend.
Monday will be an exciting day beginning with a Drum-Major awards Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Convention Center, featuring a keynote address by SC Legislator John King. Jennifer Wilson and Bob Juback of WBTW News, respectively, will be Mistress and Master of Ceremonies.
The Annual MLK Parade will take place from 12 noon until 1 p.m. on Monday on Ocean Boulevard. The parade route will be from 24th Avenue to 10th Avenue at Pylar Park. Parade participants will line up in the parking lot at 24th Ave. and Chester St.
When the parade concludes at 2 p.m., there will be an MLK Musical tribute and Concert at the Mt. Olive AME Church, featuring gospel music, speakers and much more.
The 12th Annual Grand Strand MLK Celebration is being presented by the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation and the Myrtle Beach, NAACP. For more information, please call (843)903-4939.