Hundreds of community members, activists, educators, and dignitaries from the Homestead and Florida City communities gathered for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impressive legacy. On Friday, January 16, 2015 the Phichol Williams Community Center bustled with activity as attendees mingled, ate, and viewed artistic and historic displays thanks to the efforts of Councilman Jimmie Williams and the Southwest Advisory Committee along with members of the Community Relations Board.
Councilman Williams and Florida City Commissioner Avis Brown served as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies at this traditional event in which neighboring cities come together to honor the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mayor Jeff Porter offered opening remarks on the enduring spirit of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Deric C. Feacher, City Manager of Winter Haven, Florida was the Keynote Speaker—presenting a theme that would color the entire event—we have come a long way, but there is still much work to be done.
“It is an incredible privilege to be such an integral part of honoring Dr. King’s legacy,” said Councilman Jimmie Williams, “especially in a community that is so committed to equality. I hope that everyone has taken the chance to remember the struggles of the past and look forward to a brighter future together.”
The program also included several special honors for community leaders. Councilwoman Patricia Fairclough was honored for her commitment to education, Commander Robert Jensen and his wife Mrs. Meda Jensen were honored for their community work, and We Care of South Dade was honored for their outstanding work as a non-profit and community-based organization. The Homestead Job Corps received an additional special recognition for their work with underserved youth.
In addition, guests at the breakfast, sponsored by The Palace Group, had the distinct pleasure of catching a sneak peek of the Broadway Musical, "I Have a Dream," performed by Theatre South. The moving scene was a reimagining of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birmingham Letter, featuring the dynamic and multi-ethnic cast ranging from ages 7 to 74. The Brown Family also led the crowd in an uplifting version of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The morning was finally rounded out by the Mayor of Florida City, Otis Wallace, who offered hopeful and humorous closing remarks.