MLK Day celebrations held virtually

MLK Day celebrations held virtually
January 20
15:22 2021

To commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for decades the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) and local legend Mutter Evans have hosted special ceremonies on MLK Day, but this year, due to the pandemic both events were held virtually. 

Since 1984 when the event was started, the Ministers’ Conference has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships to hundreds of students. To be considered for the scholarship, students must be a high school senior with a GPA of 2.0 or higher, complete an essay on why they deserve the scholarship, plan to attend a university or institution in N.C., be involved in church, civic, community, and school extracurricular activities. Additionally, the applicant’s church or pastor must be an “active contributor” to the MLK Scholarship Memorial Seed Fund. 

Rev. Dr. Charolette Leach, 2nd vice president of the Ministers’ Conference, said the words of Dr. King’s 1947 essay, “The Purpose of Education,” still rings true today and the Ministers’ Conference is grateful for those who support the scholarship initiative and the future of our young people. 

“The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity is so very grateful for all the money that has been donated in the past and what will be given tonight, and given in the future for the MLK Scholarship.” Leech continued, “The thousands of dollars raised have supported hundreds of students as they begin their journey of higher education.”

During the virtual event, former recipients of the award talked about how the scholarship helped them. Jaelyn Brown, a freshman at Howard University, said the scholarship has pushed her to excel even more. “I feel so blessed to have been a recipient,” Brown said. 

Chrystal Davis, a freshman at NC A&T State University, thanked the Ministers’ Conference for investing in her future as well. Davis said she was amazed by the number of people in the community willing to lend a helping hand to the youth. 

“I’m thankful to everyone who is involved with this committee and community that are willing to invest their time and money,” Davis said. “It’s just so amazing to know there are so many people that support me and my peers in our educational journey and I’m so grateful for that support system, especially during this time.” 

Tirrezz Hudson, a student at N.C. State University, said the scholarship gave him an opportunity to grow and learn. 

“For me, getting the scholarship meant an opportunity,” Hudson continued. “An opportunity to further my education at an institution of my choice, an opportunity to grow and to learn, and an opportunity to make a difference through extra curricular activities, through study abroad, through research and through course work, and for that I am grateful.” 

2021 MLK scholarship recipients will be announced before the start of the 2021-2022 fall semester. 

During the virtual event, the Ministers’ Conference also recognized several community leaders for their work to uplift the lives of others. The keynote address was delivered by Rev. Dr. Valerie Tate-Everett. Community leaders and organizations recognized include: Rev. Kelly Carpenter, Bishop Sir Walter Mack Jr., Rev. Chuck Spong, Elder Joshua Mack, Allan Younger, Rasheeda Shankle, Judge Denise Hartsfield, Rev. Stephen Boyd, and Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church Health. 

The virtual MCWSV’s MLK Celebration can be viewed by visiting “Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity” on Facebook. 

For more information on the scholarship or to make a donation, visit and click on the “MLK Scholarship” tab.

The MLK Noon Hour Commemoration was started in 1980 by local legend Mutter Evans. It is the longest running MLK Day celebration in the United States and was started five years before the day was recognized as a national holiday. 

This year the event featured a panel discussion on the topic “Our Democracy Under Attack: How We Got Here and How We Survive. Panelists included Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, Jr., Bishop Sir Walter Mack, Dr. John Mendez, Dr. Yvette Lovett Martin, Dr. Mark Covington, Dr. Felecia Piggott-Long, and Rev. Randell Cain, Jr.  

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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