Virtual events to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held locally Sunday and Monday to commemorate the slain civil rights leader.
The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity will hold its annual ecumenical and interfaith worship at 4 p.m. Sunday to celebrate King’s life and legacy, the organization said in a statement.
Rabbi Mark Cohn will be the keynote speaker, the organization said.
Organizers decided to stage an online event amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Cohn and the Rev. Tembila Covington, the president of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity.
“We had originally planned to have a worship service in person at St Peter’s World Outreach Center and live streaming on Facebook,” Covington said. “However, with an uptick of COVID numbers, we decided to move it to a virtual event on Zoom and still live stream it.”
As of Thursday, there are 69,212 cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County since March 2020, according to the N.C. Department of Health of Human Services. There have been 637 COVID-19 related deaths in Forsyth.
The event will be shown on Zoom, and it will be live streamed on its Facebook page. The King national holiday is Monday.
The organization also will raise money for its Martin Luther King Jr. Seed Fund Scholarship. Since 1984, the organization has awarded more than $250,000 to college-bound students.
Winston-Salem’s 42nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Noon Hour Commemoration will be held virtually at noon Monday, Mutter Evans, the event’s founder and organizer says on her Facebook page.
The event will be shown on Zoom, and it will be live streamed on its Facebook page.
“People can’t come to an in-person event because of the pandemic,” Evans said. “It’s not a risk that I can afford to take.”
William H. Turner, a consultant, historian and author, will be the event’s keynote speaker on Monday. Turner is a former columnist with the Winston-Salem Journal.
Organizers will recognize the King “Dare to Make a Difference” awardees, who are retired Judge Denise Hartsfield, Bill Hayes, a retired athletics director at Winston-Salem State University and a former head football coach at WSSU and N.C. A&T State University, and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emancipation Association.
King, a civil-rights activist, was killed April 4, 1968, by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tenn. He would have been 93 on his birthday on Jan. 15.