A different kind of MLK celebration in Moss Point

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - A group called J's Next Generation of Youth 2415 in Moss Point hosted a special program Monday with a special goal:  making sure that every citizen has access to information and services that could provide a better life, just as Dr. Martin Luther King preached.

People showed up early to take advantage of a well rounded supply of services.  Latrina McCarty is the director of J's Next Generation of Youth, the event's sponsor.

"It allows the community to come out to see the various resources that are available through the community, such as health care screenings,' McCarty explained.  "USM is also present to recruit students. There is going to be military people here to recruit military personnel."

Motivational speakers, like MarKeith Coleman, also took part in the program.

"My message today is about choice and decisions and how every choice and decision that you make can affect your life and really impact it. So you have to make the best choices for yourself," Coleman said.

Other messages were just as important, according to Darius Wilson, the Moss Point Police Dare Officer.

"Today my message would be to dream again. Martin Luther King had a dream and it's our dream that we have a way to clean up our streets and employ and educate our youth about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol use," Wilson said.

In addition to this national holiday being used to remember the life and legacy of Dr. King, this day was also significant for one other reason as well: Giving back.

"Actually, it's my day of service," said Patricia Craft with the University of Southern Mississippi. "The community always needs to be provided with information about education and all the various services. Here you'll notice that there are health opportunities, as well. And once again it's an opportunity to provide a day of service."

That service, and Dr. King's message was not lost on the younger generation.  Maylia Clark is a student.

"He let all the white and black people come together as friends and family and that's very important."

This was the first year this program has been held in Moss Point and organizers hope to make it an annual event.

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