Events will honor MLK

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

Events in the Heart of Virginia will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through celebrations and acts of service.

Wendy Lyle-Jones

A commemoration luncheon held at the Prince Edward County Middle School Cafetorium on Saturday will focus on the work of King while also discussing the triumphs and challenges the African-American community faces today.

The luncheon is sponsored by the Southside Virginia chapter of the Virginia State University Alumni Association.

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Dr. Wendy Lyle-Jones, a native of Prospect and current resident of Farmville, will be the keynote speaker, according to a news release on the event. Lyle-Jones serves as a regional educational principal for the Virginia Department of Corrections.

“Dr. Jones’ regional principalship expands the Buckingham Correctional Center, the Dillwyn Correctional Center and the Rustburg Field Unit,” the release cited.

Lyle-Jones holds a doctorate from Virginia State University (VSU).

“Elder Dr. Lyle-Jones is a minister of the gospel and deeply rooted in her religious faith and the struggle for equality for all,” the release cited. “She will speak about the proud legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the excellent educational and personal development opportunities for future college students, their parents, others might (be) gained by enrolling at VSU.”

Area parks will also offer events to reflect King’s legacy.

High Bridge Trail State Park will hold a trail service project Monday from 1-2 p.m. to beautify and clean the trail.

“Volunteers will meet on High Bridge Trail at the Plaza in Farmville, close to where our trail crosses Main Street,” park officials cited in a news release on the event. “An area cleanup will follow. Volunteers need to be prepared with closed-toe shoes, work gloves, long, sturdy trousers and drinking water. Tools will be provided.”

To learn more, participants are encouraged to contact the park office at (434) 315-0457 or

Students and faculty at Longwood University will use the holiday weekend to serve the community and remember King.

The MLK Service Challenge will take place Saturday, Jan. 20, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Assistant Director of Community Learning & Engagement Quincy Goodine said approximately 60 people have signed up for the event so far and that service actions will include working with the Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA, the Wayland Rehabilitation Center, the Andy Taylor Early Childhood Development Center and the Virginia Street Community Garden in Farmville.

Goodine said the event typically has a mix of students, faculty and a few community members who have come to help.

“We’re asking our students, instead of taking the morning off, to take time to help those outside themselves,” Goodine said about the event.

He said the event will serve to remember King’s sacrifice to dismantle racial inequality.

“The quote I have been using this year is, ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:
What are you doing for others?’” Goodine said.

He said students and community members can contact him after the event to look for other ways to build community.

“I don’t want it to stop after Saturday,” Goodine said.

Participants can register at