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Celebrating Dr. King's Ideas

Reston prepares for its annual celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This weekend the Reston community will celebrate the life and the ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in an annual celebration planned by the Reston Community Center. Friday, Sunday and Monday events will cover many subjects relating to King's ideas of equality, and are geared to community members of all ages.

"We try to make the celebration inclusive to as many members of the community as possible. There are events for specific age groups, as well as the entire spectrum [of ages]," said Leila Gordon, a member of the celebration's planning committee. She said Friday's events would concentrate on engagement between adults and teens. Sunday's portion of the celebration will honor King's teachings with two concerts, while Monday's events include discussions on issues that are relevant to King's teachings today. "On Monday we will build on the legacy and ideas of Martin Luther King," said Gordon. This year's celebration is titled, "Are We Keeping the Promise?"

Monday's activities will start off with a march from Southgate Community Center to Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods. Once at RCC, the participants will engage in workshops that include issues such as affordable childcare, age and gender discrimination and gang prevention for younger people. Gordon said the planning committee hoped to achieve an outpouring of thought and discussion to begin the New Year.

"We want [the workshops] to be a beginning of a conversation, not an end to a weekend celebration," said Gordon.

Derek McGinty of 9 News Now will deliver the keynote address on Monday. Roughly 400 people will be accommodated to hear the address in the RCC's Community Room, said Gordon. "We wanted to bring someone who could offer name recognition and high visibility, and also someone who has been engaged in these kinds of discussions for many years," she said.

For those who wish to march from Southgate Community Center, but want to leave their cars at RCC Hunters Woods, there will be buses running from RCC at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. The march is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.