MLK Day celebration at Eastman Theatre returns Monday for first time in three years

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — For the first time since 2020, Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations in Rochester will be held in person. The commemoration is Monday morning inside Eastman Theatre.

The event is put on by Greater Rochester MLK Commission. The theme this year is “The dream is not dead, democracy is alive.”

Doctor Martin Luther King Junior once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that”, which lines up with this year’s theme of celebration for Rochester.

“We’ve been through a lot as a nation, we’ve been through a couple pandemic’s but we’ve seen the insurrection of the capitol there is a divide in this country so we need to make sure that we declare that the dream still lives and that democracy still lives,” Suzan Johnson Cook said, the goddaughter of Coretta Scott King.

Former U.S. Ambassador at large Susan Johnson Cook will deliver the keynote address during Monday’s MLK celebration at Eastman Theatre. Part of her message is keeping Dr. Kings’s dreams alive.

“He spent his entire life which was 39 years, making a difference, generations who follow not only have their dreams but also understand the man who paved the way for so many of us,” Cook said.

For the last few years, Rochester’s MLK events were held virtually because of the pandemic. Leaders from Greater Rochester MLK Commission say being back in person is going emotional.

“We’ve got all the trappings that folks have come to love about the event we have music, and a great powerful speaker, but most importantly the community will be there together,” Simeon Banister told News10NBC.

If you would like to attend the event, the doors to Eastman Hall will open at 830 a.m. on Monday. News10NBC TODAY interviewed the event organizer:

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