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A Day to Dream and embrace the call for constructive change: the MLK Day/Service via Poplar Hill Missionary Baptist Church (Buford, GA)

On Monday, January 15, 2024, a number of people make the day a day on and not a day off.

As part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, a number of community and civic-centered entities host a wide array of programs, service projects, and other related events aligned with much of the philosophy and approach used by the civil and human rights icon. Among those is the program hosted at Poplar Hill Missionary Baptist Church (in Buford, GA).

The event taking place is more than just a celebration of Dr. King's life and impact. It's a reminder of the call to serve in making our communities better, acknowledging those who are present-day history makers and game changers, and a concluding "ticket out the door" that all can still realize their gift and path and in doing so, the potential for positive change remains ever present even in the midst of societal and related challenges.

With a welcome and opening to the near-capacity audience by church leadership, one of the presentations which helps set the tone is provided by Johnathan Holmes, as his community greeting not only recalls the lessons of his youth, but the larger life lessons in providing a measure of community healing and more in making our communities better places in which to live, work, and play (you may watch his full remarks below):

A key point in the program is the keynote address by the Honorable Mayor Craig L. Newton of Norcross, GA. He not only is the city's first elected mayor of African-American descent, but the first in the county in which it is located, Gwinnett County (GA). His address is complete with recalling the impact of approaches of Dr. King, along with the reminder of heeding the call to serve and identifying ways in which all can be the positive change they wish to be and see in the immediate and interlocking communities, let alone society at large (you may watch his full keynote speech below):

As an additional feature, recognition is given the honorees across the judicial and education fields for their work professionally and in the community. Tiana Gardner (Clerk of Court for Gwinnett County, as she is the first African-American to hold this position), Sophia Barton (Gwinnett County Public Schools Educator), and Rodney Harris (Gwinnett County Juvenile Court Judge) are those whose efforts are celebrated during the day's event (you may watch the full video for the honoree recognition below):

All share tremendous insight during the receipt of their honors along with our post-event conversations (you may watch their full remarks in the remaining videos):

The holiday is a time to celebrate the progress made, but by the same token, keeping an eye to the present and future to address areas of concern in the community and our larger society. Even 56 years after his assassination, the message and approaches of Dr. King are more than viable in an ever-changing society.

The focus on making this Dream a reality is intact, as it's an opportunity for more to be engaged, encouraged, and inspired.

Notes: All photography and video is recorded by Andrew Snorton via CCSLLC (click HERE to visit their complete list of articles and coverage). The playlist for the event is available on our YouTube (click HERE to view the entire video playlist and subscribe today) with our complete video and related information/features.


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