Triangle Celebrates MLK Day with Annual Breakfast

The Triangle marked two important anniversaries on Monday, January 16, 2006: the 25th occasion of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and the 25th occurrence of the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast. Held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in RTP, the event brought breakfast, prayers of insight, and words of inspiration to hundreds of Triangle residents. The event kicked off at 8am.

Buffet
A large number of Triangle residents line up early for a buffet breakfast.
Craig Chancellor
Craig Chancellor of the Triangle United Way is the Chairman of the Triangle MLK Day of Service.
Reconcilliation Choir
The Reconcilliation Choir of the Reconcilliation United Methodist Church of Durham provide musical entertainment for the Interfaith event.

Capitol Broadcasting Company has sponsored the breakfast continuously for the past sixteen years. Early in the program CBC Vice President of Community Relations Paul Pope helped make a special presentation to Bruce Lightner, a community leader who is always an integral part of planning the breakfast and many celebratory events over the several days surrounding the MLK holiday each year. Pope presented a plaque to Lightner, “our friend, our community activist, our person who gets it done.”

Mayor Bill Bell Mayor Charles Meeker Kevin Foy
Mayors from the three major Triangle cities bring greetings to the event, including Durham Mayor Bill Bell (l to r), Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker & Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy.
Reconcillation Choir
The Reconcillation Choir brings a message through music.
Rev. Kimberly Lucas
Rev. Kimberly Lucas offers the Universal Prayer for World Peace.
MLK Banner
The 2006 MLK Day Celebration carries the theme “No More Business As Usual.”

The Promise of the Future
Nicole McEwan
9th grader Nicole McEwan brings the crowd to their feet.

Nicola McEwan, a 9th grader at Enloe High School in Raleigh was the youngest speaker at the MLK breakfast, but one of the most inspirational. Her words & wisdom beyond her years earned her a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. “I believe we are not just gathered here today to celebrate the life of Dr. King but what his hard work has influenced on us,” she said. “I believe we need to spread the importance of this day to others. … I think instead of just celebrating this day we should try to add to his doings and try to make his dream a reality.”

Pope made a second presentation later in the program. At the 2005 MLK Breakfast CBC gave attendees a copy of the WRAL-TV documentary “Focal Point: Lost Generation” about the disparity that African-Americans & Latinos males make up 12% of the population of North Carolina, but are an overwhelming 70% of the prison population. Spurred by the discoveries of the documentary, a group of concerned citizens formed a Triangle Lost Generation Task Force to foster cultural & behavioral changes among at risk youth, among other agenda items. Paul quoted CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon as always saying, “You’ve got the swing the bat to hit the ball.” Pope gave the Triangle Lost Generation Task Force a check for $100,000 from CBC, WRAL-TV and FOX 50 as “a token of our appreciation for what you’re doing in the community to hit the ball and move forward.”

A long list of local government, community and religious leaders offered a variety of prayers and greetings during the program. “Equal rights is one thing, but having the means to really fully participate is something else and that’s a goal I think we should all try to achieve,” said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

Buffet
Triangle citizens come out en masse to celebrate the MLK holiday together over breakfast.
Rev. Dr. Willie S. Darby
The Rev. Dr. Willie S. Darby provides the keynote address.
Erica Davidson
Erica Davidson, winner of FOX 50’s 2005 “Gimme the Mike” competion, sings for the breakfast.
Rev. Dumas Harshaw
Rev. Dumas Harshaw, a fixture at the annual breakfast, brings a Prayer for the Less Fortunate.
Risa Poniros
Risa Poniros of Meredith College opens the event with a musical selection.
Reconcilliation Choir
Music and words of inspiration greet breakfast goers at the 25th annual MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.

The Reverend Dr. Willie S. Darby, Pastor of Penn Avenue Baptist Church in Oxford, NC, brought the keynote address. “I stand here in fear,” he said. “…fear that this Martin Luther King Day of celebration will be just another day in which no one finds new commitment or motivation to bring about change.”

Dr. Thelma Lennon
Dr. Thelma Lennon, past president of the North Carolina AARP recognizes the clergy & elected officials in attendance.
Bruce Lightner & Paul Pope
CBC’s Paul Pope (right) helps make a special presentation to long time MLK celebration coordinator Bruce Lightner.

“We desperately need some more Dr. Kings,” Darby continued. “We have not yet fulfilled the dreams of Dr. King, Jr.”

Rev. Dr. Willie S. Darby
Rev. Dr. Willie S. Darby charges the crowd saying, “I want to consecrate each one of you for the task of fighting injustice.”
Dr. Raachel Jurovics
Dr. Raachel Jurovics, Asst Rabbi of Temple Beth Or Synagogue in Raleigh offers a prayer for Cultural Inclusion.

David Prince
David Prince of the MLK Celebration Committee welcomes the crowd.

WRAL-TV broadcast the breakfast on its NewsChannel at 8pm on the day of the event and at 2pm on Tuesday, January 17th.

Check presentation
CBC’s Paul Pope presents a check for $100,000 to the Triangle’s Lost Generation Task Force on behalf of CBC.
Cheryl Reynolds
Tammy Lindfors of Verizon Yellow Pages says a few words on behalf of her company, a new sponsor for the breakfast.
Paul Pope
CBC VP of Community Relations Paul Pope has been a part of the breakfast, which CBC sponsors, for many years.
James Speed, Jr.
James Speed, Jr., President of NC Mutual Life Insurance Company, serves as Presiding Officer for the event.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Task Force Youth
The youth of the Triangle Lost Generation Task Force stand for recognition.
Rev. Pius Wekesa
The Very Rev. Pius Wekesa of the Catholic Diocese of Nairobi in Kenya, Africa, offers a prayer for equality.

Pope invited the crowd to American Tobacco in Durham for a special arts exhibit:

Civil Rights Art Exhibit at American Tobacco Campus
Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project Exhibition
Jan 13th – Feb 28th
American Tobacco Campus
www.americantobaccohistoricdistrict.com
www.durhamcountylibrary.org

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