Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy During Phoenix March

By Bret Jaspers
Published: Monday, January 20, 2020 - 12:55pm
Updated: Monday, January 20, 2020 - 3:19pm

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MLK Jr. celebration at Hance Park
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
Monday's MLK Jr. celebration at Hance Park.

Valley residents celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and message Monday on the holiday that bears his name.

A march traveled from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church to Hance Park in Phoenix, where people met tables of churches, vendors, and political candidates. A rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the black national anthem, followed “The Star Spangled Banner.” 

“I just love seeing all God’s [creations] just enjoying each other and just enjoying this beautiful world that God created for us,” said Kellee Ford of Phoenix. She was impressed with the diversity of the marchers.

King’s role as a spiritual and civil rights leader was top of mind for Karen Stewart, too. Stewart is the director of evangelism at First Institutional Baptist Church, where her husband, Warren Stewart is senior pastor. 

Karen Stewart said King’s faith propelled him, and that the Bible talks about “doing” justice.

“Justice is not something that just comes because you will it to be so. Justice is something you actually have to go out and do, be a part of,” she said. “So you’ve gotta go and organize and walk and knock on doors and all those things that are a part of modern day civil rights movements, or movements of any kind.”

And for Stewart, the work is nowhere near over. She was alarmed at Gov. Doug Ducey saying private prisons would take some inmates from the Florence state prison. Ducey announced last week the Florence facility would close. 

“And it made all the red flags show up for us,” Stewart said. “So that is a real, major thing right now.”

Bret Jaspers also spoke with Mark Brodie on The Show today. 

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