Honoring MLK

Published 11:33 pm Monday, January 16, 2012

Youth, leaders gather to ‘celebrate the dream’

Pike County youth and community leaders sat side-by-side to “Celebrate the Dream” of Martin Luther King Jr. Monday.

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The gathering took place at the Boys & Girls Club of Pike and Surrounding Counties in memory of King’s goal of peacemaking, and to recognize people who are doing positive things in the community.

“We are in a time where it is very hard to be peacemakers,” said Pamela Nealey, with the Boys & Girls Club. “We want to remember that we do not want to suffer … Let’s strive for peace and be a peacemaker every day of our lives.”

University students and club members and staff took turns sharing inspirational quotes, songs and skits during the day of remembrance and hope.

The featured presenter for the day was Taliya McNabb, a sixth-grade student at Charles Henderson Middle School who recently spoke out against bullying incidents at her school.

McNabb said since she publicly addressed the issue, other people have come forward in support of her want to end bullying.

“Keep praying, smiling, and hold your head high and don’t let anyone bring you down,” McNabb, who has also battled cancer, said.

Another young person honored at the ceremony was David Fleming. Fleming received the first “Celebrate the Dream” award from the Boys & Girls Club for his volunteer work with the homeless and on campus.

Fleming, 21, is a Math Education major at Troy University and said he wants to work for God in whatever way possible.

“I do good works because a great work has been done for me,” Fleming said of his spiritual salvation. “We meet physical needs to get to the spiritual needs.”

Fleming is very humble about any praise given him, but Nealey said recognition is a big part of the Boys & Girls Club.

“It is important to take notice of people who do good things in the community. Goodness is contagious and we want it to spread,” Nealey said, closing the program with words from King.  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.”