By Wane A. Hailes
The Dream Lives, an annual celebratory tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been scheduled for January 13, 2018.
This signature event presented annually by the Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity, and Prosperity is a community festival that gathers a diverse group to celebrate the continued importance and relevancy of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of unity, equality and justice for all people regardless of race, classification or economic status.
This is the fourth year the Mayor’s Commission has organized the commemorative event and the third year it will be held in the Liberty Cultural District. The Liberty Cultural District, once the hub for African American entertainment and culture is a major historic landmark having hosted on its stage such notables as Cab Calloway, Ma Rainey, and Nat King Cole.
The highlight of the event, which draws upwards of 2500 people each year, is the Unity Processional bringing together civic and church groups, bands, corporate entities, city officials, and individuals to walk in unity while converging on the green space directly in front of the Liberty Theatre.
Over the years The Mayor’s Commission on Unity, Diversity, and Prosperity has brought to Columbus from MSNBC Joy Reid, Daymond John from Shark Tank and violinist Damien Escobar.
This year the Commission welcomes the return of Ruthie Foster, a native Texan and an award-winning national recording artist who visited Columbus a few years back.
The Courier Eco Latino newspaper in its commemoration of the civil rights icon began hosting its annual 1 Mile MLK Walk/Run in 2011. In 2015 mayor Teresa Tomlinson suggested that we include our run/walk as a part of “The Dream Lives” celebration and as a result, the Courier Eco Latino newspaper entered into a collaboration with Big Dog Running Co.
For the last three years, we have increased our participation to over 350 runners with not only the mile walk/run but the addition of the Courier Eco Latino MLK 5K and the Courier Eco Latino MLK 10K.
This event unifies the community and provides an opportunity to appropriately honor a man who gave his life in the quest for equality and prosperity for all.