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King Day Commemorated Through Day of Service

King Day Commemorated Through Day of Service


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News Specialist Shelley Osterloh reportingHere in Salt Lake City, Martin Luther King Day was a day to honor his memory by continuing his work for human rights.

Others used this day as a call for service.

For 20 years now, the Salt Lake Branch of NAACP has held its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon. And today, in another part of town, the mayor kicked off what he hopes will be a new traditional day of service.

Both events are a way to honor a man who continues to inspire service and the peaceful pursuit of equality for all.

Hundreds gathered for the NAACP luncheon in Salt Lake City to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and those who work to further his belief in service and peaceful social change. Among those honored are a group of students who won a statewide essay contest.

Dorothy Anderson won the Rosa Parks Award. As the Public Affairs manager for American Express, she has mobilized employees to do 17,000 hours of volunteer service last year.

She says the quest for equal rights still has a long way to go.

"I think it's important that all of us work together, because whether it's Hispanic, whether it's Native American, whether it's our Muslim brothers and sisters here, all of us are human beings and we all deserve to have the same rights," Anderson says.

Dorius Gray received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Award. Gray is a small business owner and president of Genesis, a support group for black members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He says as a man of the LDS Church, he believes many problems could be solved if people acted as more like family.

"We are literally brothers and sisters of the same God, regardless of church, race, religion, ethnicity, gender. We are brothers and sisters and we need to act like that and if we do, then I think all of the problems will go away," Gray says.

Meanwhile, a group of volunteers gathered food and clothing and delivered them to homebound elderly.

Entitled a Day of Service, the event is a combined effort from many community groups to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with volunteer opportunities and a free health fair.

"There is not a better way to honor Dr. King's memory than to serve, to provide opportunities and to make this community a better, more caring place," says Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.

The mayor teamed up with AmeriCorp volunteers and many other community groups to create this Day of Service. They hope it will become an annual event and a way to improve the community each year while honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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