VALDOSTA – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy lives on with the latest generation as seen with the Valdosta-Lowndes County MLK Commemorative Association’s Youth Program Monday at Mathis City Auditorium.

The annual showcase displays local talent of community youth and an awards program for the Martin Luther King Jr. poster/poem contest.

Dr. Alvin Hudson, Valdosta City Schools interim superintendent, and eighth-grade math teacher Phyllis Lott presided over the event, with “Why We Can’t Wait” serving as the 2023 theme.

The show included praise dances, skits, poetry readings, monologues and a mini play put on by Lowndes High School, Valdosta High School, Pine Grove Elementary School, Bright Star Preschool, New Destiny Temple of Deliverance, St. Mark Baptist Church, J.L. Lomax Dancers, Westside Elementary School, Kingdom Impact Center, Greater Pleasant Temple Baptist Church, New Life Ministries, Valdosta State University, Union Cathedral and Valdosta Early College Academy.

Ronald Skrine, president of the Valdosta Divine Nine, was the keynote speaker of the program.

In an interview with The Valdosta Daily Times, he said he was honored to rise to the occasion.

“I’m glad and honored to be asked to speak at the U.S. showcase for MLK Day. The MLK committee has done a wonderful job over the years of keeping the celebrations alive. So I think it’s very important that we all remember the workings of Martin Luther King Jr. and remember the things that he did along with everyone who supported the Civil Rights Movement,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that in a lot of names that we won’t know in the shadow of Dr. King but their words were just as important in supporting the Civil Rights Movement and moving us forward to where we are today. There’s certainly still a lot of work that we all have to do as Americans. and I’m just glad to see that we’re still going in that direction, a positive direction.”

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