Sioux City celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a call to - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a call to action

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day of remembrance and celebration of civil rights victories in the United States, one that the city of Sioux City commemorates every year.

"We're talking about a man who fought, bled, and died so that everybody could have the so-called American dream, access to the so-called American dream. If that doesn't deserve a holiday, I don't know what does," Richard Hayes, former director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission said.

But this year, the speakers focused on calling the audience to action. "This is our time to give back. I was once told, if I don't stand for something, I will fall for anything," Trayla Lee, NAACP Member.

They said Dr. King's work started the conversation, but it's our job to keep moving forward into a nationwide culture of racial equality.
"Dr. King's dream is not fully realized, and we have to understand that it takes folks working together to make the dream a reality. For those who are leaders, they need to get out front and pull. For those of us who are followers, we need to get behind and push," Hayes said.

Students from Youthbuild, Sioux City's alternative high school educational program, were at the celebration, and said the ceremony's message hit home. "He made us look at a brighter future, and now we have all of this to look at. Without him, you can imagine how it would be now," Brandi Bokett, Youthbuild student said. Brandi Bokett says the focus on working together to move forward into a more peaceful joining of every race and color is a message everyone, especially high schoolers, needs to hear. "I feel like we're kind of individual, like we don't get along like we used to. Especially at schools, different races are in their own groups.They're not all together like they used to be," Bokett said.

But as we celebrate Dr. King's legacy, those at the ceremony said they're hopeful we'll continue to come together, in the name of equality, justice, and freedom. 
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