By SHERRY DIGMON
Last year, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade and program were scaled down a bit as the country was coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Next week, however, organizers expect the homage to the civil rights icon to be back in full force.
Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 16, and Concerned Citizens of Atmore invite all to participate or be spectators in the events to honor King.
The theme this year is The Beloved Community.
Line-up for the parade begins at 8:30 a.m. and rolls at 10 a.m., at Houston Avery Park, 200 MLK Avenue, and ends at Emmanuel Faith Center for the program and dinner which will be served to everyone in attendance.
The guest speaker for the program is Atmore native Marlo Young who currently works with the Escambia County Board of Education as a Mental Health Service Coordinator. She serves as a liaison for the Escambia County School District, where she works with students, families, teachers, counselors, and administrators to identify and address the social / emotional, mental health, and wellness needs of students. She is also a Certiﬁed Mental Health Coach, and a Certiﬁed Youth & Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor who provides training on the importance of early intervention and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health challenge.
Young is the president and co-founder of a local faith-based girls mentorship program – Prima Girl – in Escambia County that focuses on providing young girls with tools and resources to build conﬁdence, value, and ﬁnd their inherent strength and purpose.
Young earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State University in Psychology and earned her first Master of Science degree in Counseling / Psychology and her second Master of Science in Adult Continuing Education from University of West Alabama.
She is married to Rev. Dr. Donzell L. Young Sr., and they have two daughters, Ariyana and Ziah, and one son, Donzell Young Jr.
The MLK Parade Grand Marshal is Bishop Wayne Johnson, pastor of Emmanuel Faith Center.
If you wish to participate in the parade, pick up an application at the Unity House, 313 N. Main Street. All applications must be submitted to the committee by Saturday January 14, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, contact Wayne Johnson, 251-261-9357.