Martin Luther King Jr. Support Group of Southeast Texas ready to highlight past and future in Port Arthur

Published 12:08 am Sunday, January 14, 2024

Terry Savoy Hadley, who is taking over the presidency of the Martin Luther King Jr. Support Group of Southeast Texas, said the fight for justice and nonviolence is as important today as it was when Dr. King started the movement.

Hadley is taking the torch of presidency, as her mother and founder of the group, Hargie Faye Savoy, steps down.

The local MLK group got its start in 1986 when Savoy met privately with Coretta Scott King in her Port Arthur home. During a brunch in Mrs. King’s honor, Savoy was asked to start the local group.

Coretta Scott King, center, poses with Port Arthur residents during a visit. (Courtesy photo)

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The organization and it supporters are now ready to gather for the 38th Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch Monday at the Bob Bowers Civic Center. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are already sold out and Hadley estimates a crowd of approximately 600 people will be in attendance.

The number of attendees was set at a lower number due to the pandemic and has continued to rise. Hadley said last year there were 450 in attendance, while pre-COVID, the number was at approximately 1,000.

Taylor Getwood, vice-president/treasurer of the MLK group board and one of this year’s honorees, grew up learning of King’s message. He said the message is important today with the prevalence of social media and technology, which emphasizes the need.

“The dream that Dr. King has, has not been accomplished, but if we continue the fight, we may be able to get to that dream,” Getwood said.

Honorees

This year’s honorees come from different walks of life; law enforcement, education, entertainment, religion, public health and advocacy. The diversity shadows King’s workings.

“Dr. King was very diverse in the people that followed him and the people he walked with and joined with,” Getwood said, adding King utilized the strengths of his followers to be advocates for nonviolence.

Honorees include: Toddrick Thomas, Deondre B. Moore, Destiny Mosley, Taylor Getwood, Constable Christopher Bates, Loretta Douglas, Germain Jackson Eddie, Alysha Hill, Erika Harris, Glenn Alexander II, Debbie Parker, Faisal Hussain, Stacey Lewis Jr., Jayven Jean-Louis, and O’Hsaquie Foster and Dylan Getwood.