Media Release

2009 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:00 AM

1:30 p.m.


ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Commission of Florida, Inc. Established in 1984, the mission of the MLK Commission is to continue the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by advocating and promoting nonviolently, the elimination of poverty, racism, and to promote social and economic justice in Alachua County and the state of Florida.


During the past twenty five years, the MLK Commission of Fl., Inc., has accomplished the following:

  • Established a week of activities in 1985 which commemorates the death and celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • In 1986, the commission completed the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Gardens located in downtown Gainesville.
  • In 1986, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Hall of Fame was created which recognizes local citizens who have demonstrated and espoused those principles and deeds of Dr. King. To date, twenty nine individuals have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
  • In 1988, Highway 441 was re-named the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway by the state legislature, reaching more than 30 miles through Alachua County from Columbia County to Marion County.
  • To recognize the academic achievements, civic involvement, and leadership of high school seniors, the Edna M. Hart Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Award was established in 1989. Since then, nearly $53 thousand in scholarships have been awarded.
  • The MLK, Commission was instrumental in spearheading the naming of the new $1.5 Million multipurpose center built by the City of Gainesville in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The MLK, Commission of Florida, Inc., has also sponsored workshops on culture diversity, education and restoration of civil rights for ex-felons.
  • We were instrumental in the successful implementation of the charter officer for equal opportunity for the City of Gainesville.
  • We collaborated with the University of Florida Office of the President with a "Helping Our Neighbors Holiday Program", that provided food baskets to needy families in our smaller cities.
  • Finally, the MLK Commission created an $8,000 educational endowment with Santa Fe College for burned out residents of the Kennedy Homes apartment complex in Gainesville, Florida.

This year's King Celebration features the theme "Living the Dream, 45 years later." There will be activities throughout the month of January. For a complete schedule of the 2009 King Celebration please click here





  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).