Jefferson Parish Students Encouraged to Have Faith and Hope of Martin Luther King

( [email protected] ) Feb 09, 2004 01:47 PM EST

New Orleans -- The Jefferson Parish public school system celebrated the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Feb. 3, Tuesday morning with the theme, "Remember! Celebrate! Act! . . . Walking the Path Together In Restoring the Beloved Community for a Brighter Future."

Students from each of the district’s schools gathered for the event and they were inspired by choral music performed by the John Ehret High School choir and hymns sung by featured soloists. A speech was given by the Rev. Maurice White, associate pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in New Orleans, emphasizing fulfilling the dream of King which is to bring true racial equality in the United States.

"Our nation is still faced with the problems of racism and poverty," said White, "We must combat the problem in a unified way We must have the faith and hope of Dr. Martin Luther King."

Like King, he said, "you will also plant trees that you will never sit under. To restore our community, we must work together, we must pray together, we must struggle together."

White encouraged students "to get the best education possible. Make Martin Luther King smile by doing the best you can."

He also encouraged the students to be a great communicator just like Dr. King.

"If you're able to communicate, then you can restore the community," he said.

The theme for the King celebration was developed by the Jefferson Parish Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force to incorporate the Jefferson school’s motto: "Education For a Brighter Future."