Tallahassee Chapter of the NAACP kicked off a long weekend of celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friday.
It all started with the Dreamers and Doers breakfast at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, back in person this year for the first time since the pandemic, and focused on highlighting the content of local students' character.
"In order to make this a better place, they have to pattern after someone," said Dr. Connie Evans, NAACP Dreamers and Doers co-chair.
More than 100 children chosen by Leon County School teachers and administrators were rewarded for exhibiting qualities similar to those of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., such as "their character, their kindness, their willingness to help others," as Dr. Evans explained.
Students displayed these qualities, among others like leadership, compassion, non-violence and positive role modeling.
The annual partnership event between the NAACP and LCS now spans more than 20 years, each year marking the tradition of inspiring young people to turn their dreams into action.
"This next generation is going to have to do things differently," Dr. Evans said.
The young doers and dreamers recognized in the ceremony interacted with local leaders, like Mayor John Dailey; Commissioner, Attorney, and keynote speaker Carolynn Cummings; and NAACP president Mutaquee Akbar. Each student received a certificate and a medallion, reminding them, as Dr. Evans says, that "Together we can be the dream."
Additionally, the NAACP has several events planned for Monday, including a commemorative service Monday at 9 a.m. at C.K. Steele Bus Terminal highlighting civil rights activist Rev. C.K. Steele; Anita Davis, the first Black woman elected to Leon County Commission and former Tallahassee N-A-A-C-P president; and Calvin Bess, a Tallahassee teen who died under suspicious circumstances while registering black voters in Mississippi.
That service will be followed by a commemorative rally at the Florida Capitol called "Finding our Power to Make a Difference," starting at 11 am. During the rally, current chapter president, Mutaqee Akbar is expected to deliver his State of Tallahassee NAACP address.