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Community Leaders, Governor Honor Dr. King's Legacy

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Zach Bernard/WBOI News
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Community leaders gathered at the Grand Wayne Center in downtown Fort Wayne on Monday to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s mission and legacy.

The 31st Annual Dr. King Unity Celebration took place yesterday at the Grand Wayne Center, in what Governor Mike Pence said was the largest celebration of Dr. King’s legacy in Indiana.

Mayor Tom Henry, City Council members and community leaders were among the hundreds of attendees who came to honor the Civil Rights leader.

Following musical and dance presentations, Fort Wayne Reverend Bill McGill recited King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Other speakers included Mayor Henry and California Civil Rights activist Lessie James.

“We will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last,’" recited McGill to the audience.

Governor Pence spoke about family’s visit to Selma in 2010, and his commitment to continue enforcing all civil rights laws in the state.

“To confront the evils of racial discrimination in America, to promote racial reconciliation in America, and to drive us toward a more perfect union," Pence said. "It’s about remembering but it’s about teaching, and it’s about fulfilling the dream that he spoke so eloquently from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.”

Fort Wayne Police Chief Gerry Hamilton was also honored for his service as the City’s first African American to hold the post. He was appointed in 2014.

And he says he hopes there are others who will follow in his footsteps.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.
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