The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration in Bonner Springs was all about embracing change.
Preserving the environment rang loud and clear Monday at the First Christian Church during the celebration of a man who worked to unite people to solve an injustice. With a green theme of “The Dream Reborn” the event’s speakers focused on connecting the civil rights leader’s message to a different type of problem facing today’s people.
“Dr. King stopped segregation with just people,” said Jim Hann, a teacher with the Bonner Springs School District who focuses on energy cost avoidance. Hann said that American’s could now do the same when it comes to stopping the country’s excessive energy usage that is causing global warming.
The event’s keynote speaker, Richard Mabion, who is a community organizer for the inner city of Kansas City, Kan., said that if still alive today, King would be showing people how to get involved.
“What Martin Luther King would be doing today is what he was doing when he was alive,” Mabion said. “He would be working for and serving the people. One thing he did was he worked for the people. I’m trying to reinitiate that concept.”
Mabion said that King’s message of talking about our world and reacting to where our world is going is what it’s going to take to deal with the environmental crisis.
“Regardless of where we go as a country, somebody has got to get our people ready,” he said.
In addition to the talk of conservation, the inauguration of President Barack Obama hung in the air and filled the church with a sense of hope during such a historic event. Several speakers addressed the fact that the inauguration of the country’s first black president followed the day set aside to honor the man who made the biggest strides to make that possible.
“Isn’t this a wonderful day to be alive?” asked the event’s moderator Connie Hadley. “Martin Luther King had a dream. We might not be all the way but we’ve come a mighty long way.”