LEXINGTON, Va. – A pandemic will not stop one community from honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Instead of marching through the streets of Lexington, one group is asking people to take a stand in the road this year.
Every year hundreds of people fill the streets of Lexington, shoulder to shoulder and march in memory of Dr. King.
A relatively new parade, organizers wanted to keep the momentum going despite the pandemic. Especially since they say the community has shown up big since its start in 2017.
“On a cold winter day almost a thousand people came to march, so we knew with that kind of response that it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it here in Lexington,” said Rev. Reginald Early, CARE Rockbridge, president.
Robin LeBlanch, vice president of CARE Rockbridge, came up with the idea to do an in-person event on the upcoming holiday, but safely.
The idea is that you show up to the event with your mask on and you pick a spot to stand in the street — a spot that is six feet away from someone else.
“For 15 minutes between 10:30 and 10:45 we’re asking the media, we’re asking individuals, people who are great with video cameras to go around these streets in the heart of Lexington to take a selfie of this town that stands-up for inclusion, that stands up for justice, that stands up to take racism down,” said LeBlanch.
Law enforcement will block off the streets for the stand-up while the community sends a peaceful message.
“We want to show that somebody, some group is concerned about unity. Everybody and all of their diversity coming together, working together, living together, enjoying one another,” said Rev. Early.
Organizers are asking participants to start getting into place on Main St. around 10:15 a.m. on MLK Day, but no earlier than 10 a.m.
“The whole idea is we will take the space of this community and commit it to justice, love, and equality,” LeBlanch said.