On Friday, after years of division between the city of Jacksonville and local organizations, the 37th Annunal Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast will be held at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
For the past five years, the city and local organizations such as the NAACP Jacksonville Branch, Jacksonville Urban League and Jax Chamber as hosted dueling celebrations on the same day, but Mayor Donna Deegan announced the change of a new day when she said they would join together for one event — a first since 2019.
This year’s breakfast theme is “Love and Light: Strength in Unity,” inspired by King’s famous quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
The NAACP said the reason behind the division was that various groups and politicians wanted to put their spin on things. They also said organizers advised the group to not have a keynote speaker who would say something controversial.
The president of the Urban League said with all of that in the past, he’s excited about the event because it shows change.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome function. A very symbolic opportunity for us to acknowledge the works of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Richard Danford said.
The unity breakfast starts at 7 a.m. on Jan. 12. The program will spotlight young student essay winners and will include remarks from Deegan and leaders from the NAACP, Urban League and Jax Chamber.
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