Triangle Celebrates The Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Triangle Celebrates The Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The 21st Annual MLK, Jr. Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

A crowd of over 1,700 gathered for a breakfast to celebrate the Martin Luther King Holiday.

Residents from all over the Triangle gathered on Monday, January 21, 2002, to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A crowd of over 1,700 attended the 21st annual MLK, Jr. Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Research Triangle Park. Doors opened at 7:15am, and it was standing room only by the time the program began at 8:00am.

Community and religious leaders of all types and from all locations led the crowd in remembering Dr. King’s work and ideals. Keynote speaker The Rev. Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw likened King to Moses, leading people towards the promised land.

The String Ensemble from RN Harris Elementary played before the program.

Dr. Padmini Hands (right) from NC State welcomes keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw.

The Orange Grove Ensemble from Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church sang a few inspirational numbers during the program.

“We need to stop waiting for someone to do for us what God has already done for us,” he said. “We have talked enough in America, now we need to be about action…We must engage the struggle for justice and peace.”

The crowd received greetings from the Mayors of the three largest cities in the area. Durham Mayor William Bell, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker spoke of regionalism and working together as one community to realize King’s dream, in keeping with the theme of the 2002 celebration: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.

In speaking of the recent terrorist attacks, Meeker said, “Dr. King overcame them on a monthly basis, sometimes a weekly basis.” Harshaw echoed that sentiment later, saying, “Many of us have lived with terrorism all our lives…I was born in the projects.”

WRAL-TV Anchor Pam Saulsby made a special surprise presentation.

Saulsby (left) honored local newscaster Miriam Thomas for her contributions to the community.

Mayor William Bell of Durham (left to right), Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker & Chapel Hill Mayor Harold Foy took part in the program.

Dr. Padmini Srinivasan Hands, President of the Interfaith Alliance of Wake County, Inc., presided over the breakfast. She is a Visiting Research Professor at North Carolina State University, an Indian, a Buddhist and a disciple of Gandhi. A variety of other faiths were represented on the dais.

A number of government representatives attended the breakfast, including Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, U.S. Congressman David Price, N.C. Representative Bob Etheridge, N.C. Senator Dan Blue, and many more. Representatives from the N.C. Governors’ office and Lt. Governor’s office also attended. International representation came from the Mexican consulate.

Capitol Broadcasting Company has sponsored the event for the past 11 years. CBC Vice President of Human Resources Jan Sharp took part in the event, speaking on behalf of the company. She praised the work of the MLK Committee. She affirmed the sentiments of the day, saying, “We are truly one nation, one dream.”

Even children participated in the celebration.

Miriam Thomas was speechless after receiving a surprise plaque.

CBC’s Paul Pope (center) & MLK Celebration Co-Chair Bruce Lightner (right) presented roses to Thomas.

Rev. Dr. Dumas Harshaw said, “We can never win with violence.”

WRAL-TV Anchor Pam Saulsby presented a special honor to fellow newscaster Miriam Thomas, citing her contributions to the community as a broadcaster. “I’m truly speechless,” said Thomas, overwhelmed with the surprise recognition.

Musical entertainment before and during the program was provided by the String Ensemble from RN Harris Elementary School and the Orange Grove Ensemble from Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Durham.

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