The Mid-South honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.(City of Toledo)
Published: Jan. 14, 2023 at 2:09 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This weekend, people all over the mid-south are honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday morning, dozens volunteered by cleaning up neighborhoods and parks.

“I feel like that the trash and pollution has really gotten like bad ... I know it’s a worldwide problem, but you know the Memphis area it’s our job to make sure that we as citizens of the community make sure that we keep it clean,” said 16-year-old Mark Gentry.

“So, I feel like I could do my part to help make it better.”

Republic Services partnered with Memphis City Beautiful along with other youth organizations for its day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I think it’s good just to take time out of your day just to help others, just for the simple thought of helping people,” said. Nyia Hawkins. “It makes you feel good in the end.”

16-year-old Nyia Hawkins says volunteering is just one way she hopes to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

“I think it’s important just to help people you know,” said Hawkins.

“Take time out to help your city, and everyone around you and I think that’s something he would want for others.”

Across town organizations collaborated for the 2nd Annual MLK Health and Wellness Day, which was held at the Orange Mound Community Center.

“Everyone knows in this community we’re dealing with disparities and health disparities that are just not normal, so a lot of those things are historical, so you have to really really do your best to stop the trajectory,” said Reggie Crenshaw, Leadership Memphis and Volunteer Memphis President and CEO.

Crenshaw tells Action News 5 the event was a way to commemorate Dr. King’s statement that inequality in health care is the greatest injustice.

They offered free COVID and flu vaccines, blood pressure tests, HIV testing, Mammograms, Mental Health Services along with food boxes distributed to over 200 people.

“You should always help a person in need, because you never know when you’ll need help yourself,” Crenshaw said. When you have that spirit of compassion then you know volunteering is not just a one-time thing -- it’s something that should happen throughout the year.” said Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor.

Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor stressed the importance of looking out for one another.

“That’s one of the things that Dr. King and so many people who marched with him and worked with him taught us is that you can’t live in this society alone,” Dr. Taylor said. You have to care about other people and definitely have to care about people who have different lived experiences from you.”

Dr. Taylor said just 8-percent of the county has received it’s COVID-19 Booster vaccine, she says its critical Memphians get vaccinated to protect themselves.

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