By Jessica Mathews /

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

This marks the 16th annual celebration of the holiday and the HV MLK Day Committee organizes different community activities and events to encourage year-long volunteerism and reflect on Dr. King’s legacy and message. This year’s theme is “Honoring Voices of Equality”.

Committee member Isaac Perry says it’s a well-established event and every year people express how grateful they are that it has been able to be maintained throughout the years. Perry says it’s an honor to be able to provide it for the community and he thinks it is extraordinarily important for people to be reminded of the struggles of the nation’s past, especially with respect to racial equality, but also equally important for people to hear the wisdom and inspiring message from Dr. King. Perry says his is a voice and message that is needed more than ever but especially after 2020 – a year unlike anything else – and he thinks people really need to hear the power of the message and inspiration it can provide to be reminded of what the nation has gone through in the past, how it’s progressed and how important it is to continue that progress.

An art/writing/multimedia contest has been underway based on this year’s theme and selected submissions and winners will be on display at the Suzanne Haskew Arts Center, known as The SHAC. Perry says the theme was chosen because in 2020, many icons of the Civil Rights movement both in America and on the global peace movement scale were lost. He says they wanted to give people the opportunity to pay tribute to someone who has passed but at same time, recognize the many new voices emerging in the ongoing quest for equality and justice and other issues.

A soup meal food drive is also underway to benefit Community Sharing’s Outreach Center’s food pantry through Monday and donations are being sought to help sponsor a hearty soup shelf at the pantry throughout the year. People are encouraged to purchase ingredients for a Southwest Chicken Soup recipe and put them in decorated paper bags to be donated to the Community Sharing Food Pantry. Once the meal packs are put together, they can be dropped off at the Suzanne Haskew Arts center or River’s Edge Brewing Company through the holiday on Monday. Perry says they’ve pledged to sponsor the pantry’s hearty soup meal shelf for the entire year to help provide food to families in need and are asking that people consider giving a $5 donation when dropping off their soup meal. The Committee has posted various downloadable, printable MLK-Day related items on its website that can be used to decorate the soup meal bags, along with ideas for inspiration.

Everything 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. However, the march had to be canceled this year to support public health guidelines on crowd sizes and instead, a drive-up MLK Day Rally is planned at Community Sharing on Duck Lake Road at 1pm this Sunday.

The event will feature a brief presentation featuring Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech which participants can listen to on their radios, and volunteers will be on hand to accept soup meal donations in support of the food drive. Families are encouraged to attend the rally with signs and banners in their car windows expressing support of the themes associated with Dr. King's legacy including peace, nonviolence, justice, and service to the beloved community. Contest winners are typically announced during a concluding award ceremony after the march but that will instead be broadcast virtually on Facebook at a later date.

Complete information can be found online at and on the Committee’s Facebook page.