Mayor's Office Press Release
Mayor Turner Encourages Houstonians to Honor Dr. King by Watching Virtual Parade and Donating to the Parade of Giving
January 14, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner encourages Houstonians to uphold the tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy. This year, the City of Houston and the Black Heritage Society have partnered to host safe and socially distanced events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, January 18, the virtual 43rd Annual "Original" Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade" will take place online from 10 a.m.to Noon. Simultaneously, a "Parade of Giving" will occur at MacGregor Park, 5225 Calhoun Rd. to collection donations for Houstonians who have been significantly affected by the pandemic.
Organizers are asking Houstonians to donate blankets, water, baby diapers, baby wipes, and more. The World Youth Foundation and St. John's Downtown are the beneficiary organizations and will distribute the donated items to individuals with the greatest needs.
In recognition of their extraordinary leadership in these uncertain times, the Black Heritage Society selected Mayor Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to serve as this year's grand marshals.
The historic parade was the very first MLK Day Parade held in the nation after being sanctioned by the King family in 1978 here in Houston. In 2018, Mayor Turner announced that the City of Houston would provide direct support for the nationally-recognized celebration through a collective partnership with the Black Heritage Society, a non-profit organization founded by longtime community advocate Mr. Ovide Duncantell.
The 2021 theme is "Truth, Love and Justice," a nod to the organization's history and the country's current reckoning with race and systemic oppression. Radio One will return as the official media sponsor, and Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Harris County Precinct One, is joining as an event partner. The public can view the virtual experience and parade of giving on Monday, January 18, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. online at htvhouston.net and on Facebook on the Original MLK Day Parade page.
"We need to get through these times and come together as a community to support one another first," said Sylvester Brown, Executive Director of the Black Heritage Society. "Only then can we move to the work of building a more equitable world."
For more information, please visit the official website at https://originalmlkparade.org.