Jan 13th, 2016 · by Arshon Howard - DE State News
DOVER — Many events and celebrations are scheduled to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.
Carla Benson-Green, who will be the keynote speaker at Delaware State University’s 30th annual “Celebrate the Dream” National Holiday Program, said it’s important to keep Dr. King’s dream alive.
“Many people were around when Dr. King was alive,” Ms. Benson-Green said. “He was a living legend for people.
But for this generation he’s a legend, but a legend in history in a sense.
“They weren’t able to witness the things he was doing while he was alive and I think it’s important that we continue to teach this generation the importance of Dr. King,” Ms. Benson-Green said.
“We have to continue to pass on our know knowledge to our children, so they’ll hopefully continue to do the same as well.”
A Delaware state employee for 34 years, Ms. Benson-Green was nominated by Gov. Jack Markell last year to head the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, overseeing the Division of Family Services, Youth Rehabilitation Services, Prevention and Behavioral Health and Management Support Services for children.
The event will begin at noon at the Humanities auditorium on DSU’s campus at 1200 N. DuPont Highway.
The program is produced in a partnership with DSU and Dover’s Inner City Cultural League, which was founded by Rueben Salters, a former councilman and longtime Dover resident.
Ms. Benson-Green said she was about 5 years old when Dr. King delivered his historical 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
She said at the time the speech didn’t resonate with her. That happened as she grew up.
“It didn’t mean anything to me at first,” Ms. Benson-Green said. “I was young at the time, so I didn’t understand what was going on.”
All that changed, however, when she was in the third grade and Dr. King was assassinated.
“When he died my mom was crying at the end of the hallway and then I started to understand the impact he had on me at the time,” Ms. Benson-Green said.
Zeta Rho Lamda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will hold its 33rd annual the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover on Monday as well.
Ron Price, the chairman of the MLK Breakfast Committee, said the event draws nearly 800 guests each year and gives people of all ages a chance to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.
“The focus of the breakfast is to keep the community engaged,” Mr. Price said. “It’s a day on and not a day off. The breakfast is there to remind us of everything that Dr. King has done for us.
“Some of the same issues that he was dealing with back then, we’re still dealing with today,” Mr. Price said.
“We still have a long way to go, but the breakfast brings everyone together to remind us of the teachings of Dr. King.”
Doors open at 7 a.m. and the program begins at 8:30.
Ticket donation is $20; contact Mr. Price at email@example.com.
Also on Monday, the Epsilon Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
The event will be held at the Calvary Baptist Church on Del. 8 west of Dover from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Volunteers and participants are asked to bring new or gently used hats, scarves, coats, gloves and warm-weather clothing to the event; or travel-size lip-balm sticks, tissues, hand sanitizer, adhesive bandages, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, mouthwash and mints.
Participants will package items for delivery and distribution to homeless shelters in Kent and Sussex counties.
Anyone wishing to donate items before Monday can drop them off at the Pitts Center at 10 Electric Ave., Dover, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Reach staff writer Arshon Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org