West Virginia Community Coalition for Social Justice holds 14th annual MLK Day celebration


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Community Coalition for Social Justice (CCSJ) held its 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration to honor his legacy.

Al Anderson and Friends perform

The event was held in the Morgantown Metropolitan Theater and brought together people young and old and from all walks of life. The audience was treated to some spiritual songs, the reading of a Fredrick Douglass short story, with illustrations projected on a screen, essays about the legacy of MLK and the Civil Rights Movements, a Harriet Tubman impersonator and a performance by a local elementary school choir.

Jeremy Thomas reads ‘Words Set Me Free’

All this, the co-chairs of CCSJ said, did not exist 14 years ago but a group of them banded together, to change that, and now they have a key way of honoring Dr. King’s legacy.

“We thought that was important to have so we thought we’re going to do it and we started then and we’ve been doing it every year since,” co-chair Susan Brown said. “It’s important because it’s important that children continue to learn and group and learn how important it is to take care social justice issues, discrimination and all the things that are not good in our society.”

Her co-chair Sandra Nelms said she wholeheartedly agreed.

“It’s a day off for students and they are able to come with their families, and it’s a segway to Black History Month in February,” Nelms said. “It’s a great way to start thinking about that and that’s celebrated throughout the school system here so it’s perfect.”

They both said the event would not be possible without the city of Morgantown because they have helped to fund it every year. In all that time, Brown said the community has been very receptive. She said they have collaborated with many organizations, student groups, schools and sponsors.

Brown and Nelms said even though the crowd was diverse they could always do better to improve the diversity at their event next year.

“I think any time you can have a diverse crowd, it’s wonderful,” Brown said. “We always to do better at that though, it’s a struggle.”

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