MLK Celebration asks: What would Dr. King do?

21st anniversary event set Jan. 19
January 15, 2013
At last year's Martin Luther King Jr. banquet, Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers spoke to a crowd of 200 residents. BY FILE PHOTO

Col. Joseph Bryant says he'll encourage young people to find mentors who will help them follow their dreams when he speaks Saturday, Jan. 19 at the 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Celebration.

Bryant, 59, is a veteran law enforcement officer and Delaware River and Bay Authority Police Department administrator.

January will be a busy month for Bryant: on Jan. 14 he starts a new job as New Castle County’s public safety director. He also plans to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration just after he gives the keynote speech.

His message to today’s youth is to follow their dreams and their mentors.

“When I was in college at the University of Delaware, I watched my mentors. I saw them go into this great occupation and I wanted to follow them,” said Bryant, a Bear resident.

“We have made some tremendous strides in law enforcement over the last 20 years – African-Americans in particular,” Bryant said.

Bryant said he wants to pass the message of public service onto young people today, and he feels this is what Dr. King would also want.

Waynne Paskins, organizer of the annual celebration agreed. She said this year’s theme “2013: What Would Dr. King Do?” targets the importance of celebrating accomplishments while looking to the future.

“It is important for our youth to be involved,” Paskins said. “We are hoping Col. Bryant can bring this message. We want young people to know that one mistake or two mistakes should not stop you from achieving your goal.”

The celebration steps off with a parade in downtown Lewes at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 19. The public is invited to a banquet set for 4:30 p.m. at Cape Henlopen High School where Bryant will speak.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, a traditional church service will be held at 10 a.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach.

Tickets to the banquet are $30 for adults or $15 for children. The deadline for reservations is Saturday, Jan. 12. To reserve seats, call Linda Duffy at 302-227-6585 or Marjorie Biles at 302-227-2138.