The state’s Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, Jacksonville National Association of Colored People, and the City of Jacksonville a Martin Luther King Community Empowerment Summit and Carnival on Monday from 2-5 p.m. at the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club in Jacksonville.
Jennifer Davis, a State Personnel Analyst for the commission, will be the host.
The Summit is geared toward promoting diversity and bridging the gap between youth and adults in the community through empowerment. It will also promote the noble tenets of Dr. Martin Luther King’s principles as it relates to teaching citizens community and resident responsibility through promoting multiculturalism and unity throughout Jacksonville.
The Carnival will provide employment resources through the Jacksonville Credit Union. It will also address reducing recidivism among ex-offenders because they have a hard time finding employment.
"This is a major problem in Jacksonville … and this is the purpose for providing resources to help them find employment," DuShun Scarbrough, executive director of the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission said.
The summit will provide a full day of family, fun, and fellowship among the citizens of Jacksonville.
Among the events will be a 2014 Scrap Booking Contest taking place among the elementary and charter schools. The purpose of the scrap booking contest is to get the youth to express themselves through art and to learn more about Dr. King and his life. They will map out his life from beginning to end. The schools will choose two winners to receive a $50 savings account from the Federal Credit Union Bank. Their scrapbooks will also be displayed during the event and the winners will be announced.
Shelia Hart will be given an award, by the the MLK Commission, Jacksonville NAACP, and the City of Jacksonville for her heroics during the time her Jacksonville School Bus was kidnapped by a gunman. She remained calm and made sure all the children were safe throughout the ordeal.
Jacksonville has plans to celebrate the holiday beginning with a City Wide Clean Up from noon to 2 p.m.
"This is a two-year partnership that the [commission has had with the City of Jacksonville and the [NAACP]," said Scarbrough.
The sponsors of the Community Empowerment Summit and Carnival are the following: Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission; Jacksonville National Association For Colored People (NAACP); First Arkansas Bank of Trust; City of Jacksonville; Jacksonville Credit Union; Praise 102.5 FM and Coca-Cola.
"This is going to be the biggest Martin Luther King, Jr. programs held in Jacksonville … . We also hope it will encourage the citizens of Jacksonville to empower themselves to fellowship on a regular basis as well as reduce recidivism, by linking ex-inmates with employment," Scarbrough said.
The King Holiday Events are sponsored in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.