Update: The celebration has been canceled due to the weather.
The State of Iowa’s annual celebration honoring the life and legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior is today at the state Botanical Center in Des Moines.
Kim Cheeks from the Iowa Department of Human Rights says Governor Terry Branstad will open the event with a proclamation reading.
“And we will have some remarks from Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds. We will have a keynote speaker — Joshua Barr — who is the director of the Des Moines Human and Civil Rights Commission,” Cheeks says. She says they will present their annual MLK awards.
Cheeks says they will also hand out awards to students from across Iowa, and conclude the ceremony with the traditional bell-ringing ceremony. There will be a performance by a youth dance theater from Waterloo led by Terry Stevens called Nzuri.
Cheeks says the annual event has two goals in honoring Reverend King.”To remember his words and his compassion for racial justice and equality,” Cheeks says. “And also service — to encourage people to do things for service in their communities.”
The event is free and open to the public and begins at 10:45 A.M. at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.