Cherokee to host annual civil rights event
by Megan Thornton
January 11, 2013 12:18 PM | 1791 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Cherokee County will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Civil Rights Movement with the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast.

Hosted by Allen Temple AME Church in cooperation with the county, this year’s theme is “Speaking With One Voice.” The event will be Jan. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton. Sherri Monger, chair of the 15th annual event, said the committee organizing the breakfast felt the message evoked a sentiment of the Civil Rights Movement and coming together as a community.

“We felt it really would bring everyone back to that one place we come from— humanity,” Monger said. “It’s not about our political side of Republican or Democratic. It’s not about being separated by race or religion. It’s really about standing together as people who live together and work together for the common good of the county. We really are all more alike than we are different.”

Fox 5 Atlanta news anchor Deidra Dukes will serve as the master of ceremony while Stephon Ferguson, a motivational speaker, will perform a dramatic interpretation of King including excerpts of some of his famous speeches as well as provide historical information about the Civil Rights leader.

Other special guests include Cherokee Community Chorale, Freedom Middle School Chorus and Hands in Praise Liturgical Dance from Allen Temple AME Church.

During the breakfast, the MLK Scholarship Fundraiser, an annual golf tournament that raises funds to provide $1,000 college scholarships to Cherokee County students, will be highlighted, as well as a presentation of the 2013 MLK Unity Award.

Since the award was established by the Rev. Carl A. Moore Sr. in 1999, the MLK Unity Award has been given to an individual who has made a positive impact in Cherokee by fostering harmonious racial and cultural relations.

This year’s winner is Billy Hayes, CEO of Northside Hospital Cherokee.

Monger said the committee, which serves two years, receives applications in December for the award from various businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the county.

After a rigorous debate, Monger said Hayes was selected because he has done a lot of work in the business community to facilitate unity in the county, including serving as president of Malon D. Mimms Boys & Girls Club in 2010 and 2011 and chair of Canton First United Methodist Church and Highland Rivers Communtiy Service Board.
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