The theme of Monday’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration in Leesburg will be “The Strength to Love: Where Do We Go from Here?”
The event will begin at 9 a.m. with a Love to Unity community dialogue at the Douglass Community Center at 405 E. Market St. That will be followed at 10 a.m. by a morning program at the community center for those who are unable to participate in the march.
The annual Loudoun County MLK March will begin with an invocation on the grounds of the Loudoun County Courthouse in downtown Leesburg at 10:15 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. participants will proceed from the courthouse to the community center. Individuals, families, churches, and community organizations are invited to join the walk.
East Market Street, between King Street and Church Street, will be closed at 9:30 a.m. in preparation for the march. Once the March begins, the eastbound lanes of East Market Street, from Church Street to the Douglass Community Center, will be closed to traffic. Drivers should follow police direction and be prepared for minor delays.
Following the March, refreshments will be served at the community center. At 11:45 a.m, the film, “The March,” directed and narrated by James Blue, will be shown, followed by music and performances, highlighted by a keynote address by author May Rihani.
Rihani is a pioneer in girls’ education and a tireless advocate of women’s rights. She served as co-chairman of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative between 2008 and 2010. Her seminal book, Keeping the Promise, is a framework for advancing girls’ education that is used by global organizations. A native of Lebanon, Rihani has published three books of poetry in Arabic. Her latest book, “Cultures Without Borders: From Beirut to Washington, D.C.,” is a memoir.
Attendees are encouraged to participate in a canned food drive to benefit Loudoun Interfaith Relief food pantry. Drop off area for the food drive will be at Douglass Community Center from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The founding sponsors for this event are the Loudoun NAACP, Douglass Alumni Association, Bluemont Concert Series, and the Baha’i Community of Loudoun.