Social justice symposium encourages people to ‘be the difference’

Social justice symposium encourages people to ‘be the difference’

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - As the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday approaches, people along the Coast are coming together to keep his legacy alive.

On Saturday, the Coastwide MLK Celebration committee hosted The Village: A Social Justice Symposium to keep that legacy alive by encouraging every one to “be the difference.”

It’s the theme of this year’s Coastwide MLK Celebration.

“We can’t wait on anyone. We have to step up for ourselves and be that difference. So I want us to carry that away is that we can go out, we can break these barriers, we can build our brands, and we can make our world a better place," said Jakavious Pickett, committee member for Coastwide MLK Celebration.

The event featured When Women Talk, a youth summit, and a Man 2 Man Summit.

“Our goal is to inspire them and educate them, so that they can go out and be the difference," said Allytra Perryman, chairman of the Coastwide MLK Celebration committee.

That education is key. Outside of the summits, adults also had a chance to learn more about their mental, physical and financial health.

“Martin Luther King was an educator, as well as an advocate, civil rights activist, and a lot of people - if you don’t know, you don’t know to do better. So if you know you can do better,” said Dr. Rachael Jackson with Mississippi’s Black Nurses Rock.

Organizers hoped people would leave empowered not only to be the difference, but also to work together to make that difference.

“It’s not an older person thing. It’s not a younger people thing. It’s just a Dr. King thing. So I think people are feeling like they are part of something bigger, something positive, taking a higher road and setting a higher tone when it comes to social issues and having a more social awareness.” said Tabari Daniels, committee member and vice president of JZ 94.5.

The symposium acted as proof that it takes a village not only to raise a child, but also to raise a community, one ready to continue fighting for equality and justice.

“It’s a great thing to bring the entire group together, that way everybody, the whole is being empowered," Pickett said.

The Coastwide MLK Celebration continues Sunday as Biloxi Councilman Felix Gines presents “Sunday Inspirational with James Meredith.” The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Biloxi Civic Center. It is free and open to the public.

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