North hosts Dr. Alveda King for MLK Day

Dr. Martin Luther King's niece takes North High to church via music, prayer and inspiration

Cheyann Neades
Dr. Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's niece, spoke at North High School on Jan. 19, 2015, Martin Luther King Jr Day. The event included pastors and religious representatives as well as the North High and Roosevelt High choir groups.

Cheyann Neades, Writer

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As North High’s auditorium started to fill with an estimate of 400 people, the Isiserettes danced down the aisle followed by a drum line to overtake the stage. They brought excitement to the crowd that matched Dr. Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.’s niece’s, enthusiasm for being in Des Moines on January 19.

At the sound of the horn, the North Soul Gospel Choir took the stage and used their voices to prepare the crowd for the powerful event, which moved everyone in the auditorium to stand and join them in song.

Reverend Al Perez, the emcee, felt that this gathering would help people unite.

“We as people need to come together, spread peace and end racial barriers,” he explained.

Reverend Perez mentioned Des Moines representatives, Superintendent Tom Ahart, Mayor Frank Cownie and law enforcement lieutenants. When they came up to speak, they described Des Moines as a city, ways to improve and how to join as a community.

After brief introductions, Dr. Alveda King approached the podium and shared her knowledge, advice and experience she has gained throughout her life. Her words of wisdom display her uncle’s legacy that she continues to spread throughout society.

Dr. Alveda King’s goal is to reach out and express her wisdom to a small amount of people, and allow that to later effect a large variety and make a difference in the world today.

“Kids don’t say ‘my black friend’ or ‘my white friend,’ they just say ‘my friend,’” Dr. Alveda King stated as she explained how today’s youth interacts. Simple ideas that she discovers through human communication inspire her to spread hope in anyway she is able to.

Reverend Perez then called two pastors to join him onstage, to then ask them for forgiveness. “We serve one boss, one CEO, one God,” he said after apologizing to them for the racial barrier that may have segregated their churches over the years.

In hopes of continuing that message sent by Dr. Alveda King and Reverend Perez, pastors and ministers came together in a prayer “huddle”  to unite as one. Specific topics such as school districts, the youth, government and collaboration were recognized during this time.

To seal the event, Roosevelt’s Bridges 2 Harmony empowered the stage with joyful music. The whole auditorium joined in song as the closing occurred.

The words spoken by the leaders of our community left everyone in the auditorium with high emotion. The messages delivered created a new beginning for the Des Moines community and its people.

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North hosts Dr. Alveda King for MLK Day