HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Pine Belt, the state and the nation are holding events to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Hundreds gathered for a Martin Luther King Jr., prayer breakfast on USM's campus in Hattiesburg, hosted by the Mu Gamma Lamda and Mu Xi Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha.
It was the 11th year for the event, and leaders of schools and churches said prayers of unity.
The keynote speaker, William Carey University alumnus and Xavier University Dean of Students Joseph Byrd, spoke about king's impact and legacy during his keynote speech.
"What a shame if you don't tell your children about this man," Byrd said. "No matter what your creed or your color, your politics or your religion, he had a profound effect on America and everybody should know about him. But above all, he was just a Baptist preacher who believed in the power of love. Not since biblical days has one man used the power of love so effectively to change his enemies and turn them into his friends."
The fraternity presented five humanitarian awards to some community members and local organizations for service and impact.
Here is a list of the MLK Awards given out during the prayer breakfast:
- Community Impact Award - Peggy Answorth
- Community Service Award - Edwards Street Fellowship
- The John Hope Franklin Award - Robert Williams
- Humanitarian Award - Fieldhouse for the Homeless
- The Douglass T. Baker Award - Ora Lee Shaheed