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Largest MLK March in U.S. Celebrating 25TH Anniversary

By City of San Antonio | City of San Antonio Communication and Public Affairs Office | Jan. 9, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO--RANDOLPH, Texas — Journey Beyond the March...Live Beyond the Dream...

More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in the 25th anniversary of the nation's largest Martin Luther King Jr. March, Monday in San Antonio. A testament to

Martin Luther King's impact on all Americans, the local march will be accompanied by various events beginning Saturday and running through Tuesday. Martin Luther King III, eldest son of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, will deliver a keynote address at this historic celebration.

The other major event for the MLK March is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday.

Each year since 1987, the city of San Antonio has celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a commemorative march. The theme of San Antonio's 25th anniversary march is "Journey Beyond the March...Live Beyond the Dream..."

"The 25th anniversary of the city of San Antonio's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is a major milestone for our community and a testament to San Antonio's rich cultural and historical legacy," San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said. "To have Martin Luther King III and Ilyasah Shabazz, third daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, celebrate this momentous anniversary by attending our city's celebration speaks to how important this commemoration of Dr. King's influence is - not just locally, but to the entire country," San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro said.

On Sunday, the MLK Commission is honored to have retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Toreaser Steele, lay the wreath at the ceremony. Her extremely successful career included serving as commander of Air Force basic training at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland. She is also the past development director of the George Gervin Youth Center, Inc. The public is invited to attend the ceremonies at MLK Plaza, North New Braunfels and East Houston Street, at 2 p.m.

"San Antonio can be proud of hosting the largest MLK March," Railroad Commissioner Art Hall said. "This is a significant achievement for the seventh largest city in the United States, whose African-American population totals approximately 6 percent. This achievement signifies the importance King values for the city of San Antonio. The march is truly "more than a march. It is a uniting of the community."
On Monday, marchers will gather in the city's historic East Side at the Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, 3501 Martin L. King Drive, at 10 a.m. when the march will begin.

The crowd will then set off on a 2.75-mile march. The route includes Martin L. King Drive and concludes at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa St. Here, the keynote address will be given by Martin Luther King III, a noted human rights advocate and community activist in his own right.
Nonprofit organizations will provide food and refreshments for the attendees as fundraisers for their own organizations. In addition, there will be a job fair and health screening programs administered at several booths. The event will conclude around 2:30 p.m.

Other events include a Youth Empowerment Summit Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Philip's College, on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church and a guest lecture by Ilyasah Shabazz, on Tuesday from 7-8:30 p.m. at Trinity University.

For questions about marching in the event or details of the scheduled speakers, call Yolanda Oden at 207-0950 or see the website at http://www.sanantonio.gov/mlk/.