GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Martin Luther King, Jr. Coastwide Celebration committee held the 30th annual Sunday Inspiration event, where they honored those who service the community.
The annual event is a part of the MLK Jr. Coastwide Celebration.
"It's more of a message, and that's what we want on this day is to bring a message that can motivate us toward greater change in our communities over the next year," said Persharon Dixon.
Dr. Persharon Dixon who is 2016 chairperson, says the Sunday portion of the week long activities is to inspire community members to work together from Hancock to Jackson County.
"For me it's that we are trying to bring together communities across all three counties. We not only talk about the programs that we put on as a committee, but also highlight the programs that are going on in various communities outside of the MLK committee in particular," said Dixon.
Three people, one from each coastal county, were presented with the tri-county community Champion award. Jhai Keeton was Jackson County's recipient.
"A lot of times we don't do it for the recognition, but I think it's an incentive, you know, to continue and to inspire other people," said Keeton.
The medal of service award went to Karen Sock, community leader, former casino executive and CEO of Sock Enterprises, Inc. Sock was honored to be only the second recipient of the award.
"I think that when you talk about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King he was about unity and equality for all people, and I think that to continue that legacy through the work that we do across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and beyond is very important," said Sock.
The MLK Jr. Coastwide Celebration concludes on Monday Jan. 18 with a parade in Biloxi and Battle of the Bands at MGM Park.
Click here to view a list of MLK Day events.