The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

'Turnout was great' at MLK breakfast

Essay, speech, art winners were given medals at the annual event.


January 14, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Students from La Casita Elementary enjoy their food at the Clovis Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Scholarship Breakfast on Saturday morning at the Clovis High School cafeteria.

CLOVIS — The Clovis community again came together to celebrate the life and work of one of the nation's most important civil rights leaders at the annual Clovis Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Scholarship Breakfast on Saturday.

"I was super pleased. The turnout was great, the message was great," Clovis Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Second Vice-President Constance Williams said.

Besides the food, the breakfast program also included musical performances by the Bethlehem Baptist Choir and students from Parkview Elementary and the Arts Academy at Bella Vista, who ended their performance by passing around a string that members of the audience held in the air.

"The Bella Vista demonstration, that almost made me come to tears because it just shows how despite all of our differences, we are connected," Williams said. "I noticed some lines were really strong, some lines were lagging, but they were all connected."

The top-three finishers from each grade range in the essay, speech and poster contests were honored at the breakfast with gold, silver and bronze medals.

The first-place finishers in the speech contest also performed their speeches, including high school category winner Andrew Russell from Clovis Christian Schools.

"Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a Christian vision of a society in which everyone could join together without the fear of discrimination or prejudice," Russell said. "Whether one rallied with him or against him, there was no denying that King had an unbelievably strong conviction."

Sportscaster Van Tate was on hand as the guest speaker. Tate emphasized to the crowd the need to speak up when you see injustice in the world, just like King did.

"If you're there and you're watching somebody actively do something that's racist and you just sit there and watch, you're complicit in it, you're part of it; you've joined the team, and that's not a good team to be on," Tate said. "We have to make sure that we can be an example to others for the betterment of all of us. We're all in this together, whether you like it or not."

Tate also called on the audience to consider whether they are using their 24 hours each day to create a positive impact.

"That's super important," Williams said. "We all have the ability to give, we all have the ability to improve things or we all have the ability to tear it up, so you have to make your choice."

Williams did not know exactly how many people attended Saturday's breakfast, but said every Clovis school in the district was represented and she thinks there was a larger turnout than last year's event, which drew about 750 people.


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