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Paducah's MLK Celebration Virtual This Year
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH - Paducah's celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., will be virtual this year. 

President J.W. Cleary of the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP told West Kentucky Star they didn't want to put anyone in harm's way with an in-person event. 

Cleary said, "We just didn't want to take a chance of anybody catching COVID or getting hurt or any of that nature, but with the Man Upstairs' help, that everything would be back to normal next year."

Because of the change, there will only be two events, rather than several that are typically scheduled over the three-day weekend. 

Instead of Monday's luncheon at the Cherry Civic Center, an hour-long program will be aired on Zoom and Paducah Channel 2 at noon, and again at 7 pm. It will also be available for viewing at the local NAACP chapter's Facebook page. The event will include remarks by Mayor George Bray and County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer, presentation of awards for the MLK Essay Contest (sponsored by Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership), local scholarship winners, and keynote speaker Phyllis Young Nichols. 

Nichols is the President and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. She joined the organization as a curriculum and education specialist in 1994 and has been CEO since 2000. She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Recognized as a Senior Fellow by the National Urban League, Nichols' expertise in board and affiliate development has facilitated her work with the national league and other non-profit organizations across the country. 

The "I Am the Dream: Answering the Call," event at 7 pm Monday night will be streamed on the Facebook page of the W.C. Young Community Center. "I Am the Dream," honorees will be recognized, and an encouraging word will be delivered by Rev. Donna Hawkins of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. 

Published 01:16 AM, Monday Jan. 18, 2021
Updated 11:58 AM, Monday Jan. 18, 2021

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