CONTRIBUTED BY THE DREAM DAY FOUNDATION
The Dream Day Foundation’s 24th Annual Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Celebration culminated with a trip to the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this past Saturday.
Approximately 30 participants from this year’s celebration, along with 10 adult chaperones, made the visit to experience King’s life and legacy. This is the first time in the 24 years of the Annual MLK Jr. Celebration’s existence that this trip was added as a part of the celebration.
Students in fourth grade up through the college level were able to do the self-guided tour, which included touring exhibits in the Visitors Center, watching a video titled “Children of Courage,” getting a history lesson from the attendee inside the fire station that King visited regularly, seeing the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, along with the newly built one, a visit to Freedom Hall and the crypts of Dr. and Mrs. King and more.
The tour ended by visiting King’s actual birth home in which students were allowed on the porch due to the limited number of tours that day and the smaller size of group.
“It was absolutely amazing to learn about the courage and determination of the Civil Rights Activists that fought for our rights today,” said participant AJ Harvest.
Harvest’s sister Genesis said she enjoyed it with her friends and cited being able to walk in the steps of King in visiting his home as her favorite part.
Jordan Sankey said her favorite part was “learning about the parts of King’s life that are not taught in the schools and actually seeing the artifacts that were displayed.”
Twins Karson and Kole Carswell stated, “We loved the original things and not replicas. We got to see pictures of the Lorraine Motel, and we learned Black people were not treated fairly.”
“The trip to the King Center was an amazing experience for me,” said Chloe Floyd. “I loved that the TV monitors explained each exhibit, which were interesting and engaging with firsthand accounts.”
Braedyn Williams, who portrayed King in this year’s celebration, stated, “the trip to The King Center was phenomenal, and I really learned a lot and learned things I didn’t know about King and The Civil Rights Movement.” He went on to say it was really inspirational and has motivated him to work harder towards achieving equal rights.
The event was made possible due to partnerships with Kroger Inc.; McDonald’s of Auburn; Opelika; Shorter and Tuskegee; Opelika City Council and a grant from the Lee County Commission. The hope is to make this trip on a regular basis, if not annually.
For more information on the nonprofit the Dream Day Foundation, visit: www.thedreamdayfoundation.org/.