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Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations going virtual this year

The state's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission had to be creative this year for online celebrations.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission is hosting their annual celebrations virtual for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MLK's Impact Day is usually celebrated at a different location every year around the state to host thousands of people. The executive director for the commission DuShun Scarbrough says they had to get creative this year.  

"Statewide, we had kids enter essay contests featuring an MLK challenge to youths, and what they could do was demonstrate how they would keep Dr. King's dream alive and relevant in 2021. We're also doing a statewide health expo wellness screening," said Scarbrough. 

In collaboration with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Scarbrough says the expo is to help at-risk populations.

Tiffany Pettus is the historian for the commission says they're also hosting volunteer challenges for youth across the state to participate. Teens and kids can perform an act of kindness and can share by using the hashtag #MLKDAY or #AMLKC.

"We're lacking that in-person component, however, the service and the spirit of sharing the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his impact, his global impact is still prevalent in the global celebrations," said Pettus.

This year's program is powered by the Division of Workforce Services.

A live stream of tomorrow's celebrations can be watched on the Arkansas Department of Education website here.

Dr. King's birthday was Friday, January 15th. 

He would have been 92 years old.