Walk honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Seed for event was planted last year

KINGMAN - For the first time, local activists will gather this weekend for a walk to remember the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr., a leader in the civil rights movement.

The walk, sponsored by the Kingman United Pastoral Association, will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, beginning at Trinity Episcopal Church, 425 E. Spring St. in Kingman. Food will be provided after the walk, and the church's archdeacon, the Rev. Veronica Ritson, will give an inspirational message.

Ben Rodenbeck, a deacon at Trinity Episcopal Church, said the idea came about last year when a group came through Kingman on a march supporting homosexual rights. A member of the church who hosted one of the marchers during the visit brought up the idea of doing a similar homosexual walk in Kingman.

"It quickly blossomed from a walk for homosexuals to a celebration of differences," said Rodenbeck. "If we put those differences together, we become much stronger as a people. So we're having an event where people can openly discuss what makes everyone unique. Martin Luther King was all about that. If you listen to his speeches, you'll see he was fighting for the rights of everyone."

King, born Jan. 15, 1929, was a clergyman, activist and humanitarian who used non-violent civil disobedience to advance his civil rights causes, from racial to economic justice. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in October 1964 for combating racial inequality through non-violence. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C. when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis by James Earl Ray, who shot him.

"I believe this event is carrying on Martin Luther King's work," added Rodenbeck. "I'm very excited about being a part of it."

Local agencies serving Mohave County are invited to set up tables and distribute brochures during the event, which was organized by members of Trinity, Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church, St. John's United Methodist Church and Grace Lutheran Church. The walk is free and open to the public.

Walkers will begin at Trinity, head to Palo Christi Elementary School along Pine Street, then go to the jail, head down Spring Street and to the city of Kingman complex before moving on to the Mohave County Courthouse and back to Trinity.

For more information, call Rodenbeck at (928) 263-9878.