Changing people one word at a time

The MLK Center in Rock Island hosted their 40th memorial service and award ceremony to commemorate and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 6:08 PM CST
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Legacies of infamous men are hardly news to anyone, ask the Greeks and Romans about their assorted gods and goddesses. There are real people though that make just as big of an impact, and Martin Luther King Jr, is one of those who lives in infamy.

The MLK Center in Rock Island hosted their 40th memorial service and award ceremony to commemorate and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Change starts with one, this person must stand up to take on the problems this country will have. They may seek economic justice for everyone because change doesn’t roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous change,” Leo Brady, a student, said.

Following the theme of change in the face of continuous struggle, other speakers came forward to share how there’s still work to be done to bring equality to our community. The keynote speaker of the event, Dr. LaDrina Wilson, brought in some statistics from our area, courtesy of the United Way of the Quad Cities.

“If you are black in the Quad Cities, you’re two times more likely to not have a high school diploma, compared to your white counterparts. Blacks have unemployment rates four times that of their white peers; and if you’re black in the Quad Cities you’re three-and-a-half times more likely to live in poverty,” Wilson said.

Guiding the event was KWQC anchor Redrick Terry, who himself was involved in the MLK Center when he was young. At the start of the event, Terry discussed how this facility provides an important service to those in the community.

“As I stand before all of you today, I can see and I can feel the light from this room, from our community. I can feel the light from this building, a shining light this community that helps to foster the light in all of us, and especially the children that attend here,” Terry said.

To get involved in the MLK Center, or to enroll students in after-school programs, visit their website for more information.