Annual MLK breakfast encourages city to 'get to work'

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday is officially the day the country honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It has also become a time to reflect on what we're all doing to serve our community.

The message of Jacksonville's 30th annual MLK Jr. Breakfast on Friday implored the 1,700 people in attendance to get to work in the community.

The crowds was filled with different races, cultures, age groups, and backgrounds, but everyone was there to hear a message of unity. 

One group that stood out from the crowd were young black students from JEB Stuart Middle School, who filled a very important role as ushers. 

“It's good to give back to your community and help everyone else,” one of the students said.

Role models of excellence students led local leaders, lawmakers, and community organizers to their tables, while also learning how to lead.

Another group of local students -- deemed tomorrow's leaders -- were front and center as young people who exemplify King's ideals and principles. 

They wrote essays and were chosen to share their vision with the audience.

Dr. Bertice Berry, the keynote speaker, is a renowned lecturer and author who attended Jacksonville

Univeristy. Her message was that we all need to let people in, engage in critical thinking and get to work.

“There's every walk of life, every affiliation, every everything in this room celebrating one of the greatest minds in human history,” she said. “We celebrate King as a speaker. He was a thinker, and he thought through and some vision for a day like today. We need some new thinkers. We need a new way of thinking, and we can only do it with critical thinking.”

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry asked the crowd, “What have you done for others? A question we should all ponder, especially today as we reflect on a man who lived to serve others.”

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