City of Danville and Centre to have virtual events Monday for MLK Day

Adjusting to the restrictions COVID-19 has brought, annual events celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for the city of Danville and Centre College will shift to a virtual format Monday, Jan. 18. Information regarding each of these events is below.

City of Danville

City commissioner James “J.H.” Atkins, who emphasized the importance of the city hosting an event celebrating King’s life and adapting it to the pandemic and who was a key player in planning for the event, said the city’s online event will be at 1 p.m. on Monday. It will be available on the City of Danville’s YouTube page and will consist of a musical presentation, a brief video clip and trailer from “The Witness” about King, and a citizen panel discussion moderated by Atkins and Mayor Michael Perros about both diversity and King’s life and lasting impact. The city prepared for the event on Friday evening.

“Danville has never gone an MLK Day without some kind of community celebration,” Atkins said, and he wanted this year to be no exception.

He said the idea of making the event virtual is his and the city’s way “in spite of the political climate, in spite of the social injustice climate going on,” of not letting the community miss out on having a discussion about diversity, celebrating King’s life and acknowledging how King impacts society today.

“That’s what Dr. King dedicated his whole life to, is taking care of people,” Atkins said.

Centre College

There will be a virtual MLK convocation for Centre College on Monday at 7:30 p.m over Zoom. Members of the public who are not part of the campus community are welcome to tune in, but it’s requested that they register since there are limited spaces for people via Zoom.

The keynote speaker will be Melinda Weathers, who according to a post about the event on Centre College’s website is a 2002 Centre graduate and local activist who advocates for social justice, serves families and advocates for “at-risk children and vulnerable adults.”

According to the post, Weathers serves on the Danville Independent School district’s Diversity and Equity Council, as a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and has been involved with several nonprofit organizations.

Andrea Abrams, Centre’s chief diversity officer and key organizer for the MLK convocation, said Weathers spoke at a vigil for Breonna Taylor last semester.

“That’s when I realized how eloquent and insightful her voice was, and so that’s one of the key reasons she was invited to be the keynote speaker for the event,” Abrams said. 

Learn more about Centre’s event and how to register here.