"Building A Healthy Community (Dare to Dream)" is more than then the theme for this year's Martin Luther King celebration. Organizers of events for the King holiday would like to see it become a way of life for Lawrence.
"The fellowship came up with the idea for the theme," said Charles Kennybrew, pastor of the Ninth Street Baptist Church and member of the Ecumenical Fellowship Inc. which is helping sponsor events in connection with the holiday, which is Monday. "We'd like to see this weekend and this theme create a greater awareness of our strengths and weaknesses as a community and help us work harmoniously toward fixing the differences."
This weekend should be important to everyone in Lawrence, Kennybrew said. "We have the city and the county governments and the schools out celebrating this day. We feel that since all of these groups are recognizing this day, that we should try to get everyone involved."
KENNYBREW includes in his list of the Lawrence community's strong points as the ability to rally behind events, no matter which group is involved.
"We can get information across and do great things together," he said. "We can do that, that has been demonstrated."
But Kennybrew said he'd like to see more participation from all groups.
The schedule developed by the fellowship in honor of King offers something for everyone.
Susan Taylor, editor of Essence magazine, will be the keynote speaker at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. today at the Kansas Union at Kansas University.
A gospel music festival is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Lawrence High School auditorium. The concert features the Ecumenical Youth Choir, which consists of local children in grades kindergarten through 12. Other performers also will be featured.
On Monday, "T-Money and Wolf" a play written by Will Mott and Rick Averill will be presented at 9:30 a.m. at the Lawrence High School auditorium. The play, which is about gangs and racism, will be presented by LHS students. Admission is free.
A commemorative service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. E.V. Hill, a television evangelist and pastor of Los Angeles' Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
"The response so far has been tremendous," Kennybrew said. "I've had people call me I didn't know expressing their concerns and asking what they can do to help the plans and the celebration."
THE ECUMENICAL Fellowship consists of nine black churches in Lawrence. Other sponsors of King Day activities include the KU Office of Minority Affairs, the KU executive vice chancellor's office, the KU journalism schoool, the KU Black Student Union, the Lawrence school district, Haskell Indian Junior College and Lawrence and Douglas County governing body.