By Jessica Mathews /

Various events are again underway in the Huron Valley community to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This marks the 17th year of various community activities, contests and events organized by The Huron Valley MLK Day Committee that are aimed at encouraging volunteerism throughout the year. This year’s theme is “Lift Every Voice!”. It’s a well-established event entered on Dr. King’s message that aims to both inspire and remind people of the struggles of the nation’s past with respect to racial equality.

Committee Chair Isaac Perry tells WHMI the theme is the name of a song that played an important role in the Civil Rights movement that ended up being an anthem of the time period in many ways. He says the theme seemed appropriate to where we are today as a nation.

The newest event added to the celebration is a Film Appreciation Night at the Milford Independent Cinema at 7pm Monday that will feature a showing of Selma and a discussion afterward. Perry says it showcases a really important moment in the Civil Rights movement, something Dr. King was extraordinarily influential in helping to shape.

People are also being encouraged to purchase ingredients for a Southwest Chicken Soup recipe to be donated to the Community Sharing Food Pantry to assist local families in need. Red bins from Community Sharing will be placed at collection sites throughout Milford and Highland where residents can leave their donated soup ingredients.

The meals will be assembled into decorated bags at The SHAC on January 17th from 5 to 8pm and everyone is welcome to participate. However, Perry says people can also opt to decorate bags and assemble their soup meal donations at home and then drop off their donation during the event that Monday evening.

It all typically leads up to what’s considered the centerpiece of the events – the annual March on Main Street that begins at the Prospect Hill Shopping Center and concludes at Central Park in downtown Milford Sunday the 16th. A special ceremony starts at 1pm and Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech is played on loudspeakers. A presentation of “Lift Every Voice” contest winners will be awarded along with music in celebration of the MLK holiday.

The Committee will also provide information on how to be a part of a yearlong service project to continue Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community where citizens of all ages and backgrounds are asked to donate their time, effort and energy to promote peace and unity.

Individuals and families are encouraged to attend and make signs expressing support of the themes associated with Dr. King's legacy including peace, non-violence, justice, and service to the community.

Complete information can be found through the link below.