In photos: 36th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast

A sold-out crowd gathered to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s work and legacy at the Crowne Plaza Resort on Saturday, Jan. 14. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Over 1,100 attendees filled the Expo Center at the Crowne Plaza Resort for the 36th annual community prayer breakfast celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 14.

The theme of this year’s event was also a call to action: “Stand up, speak out and unfold the dream for today.”

The capacity crowd ate a hearty breakfast before turning its attention to a packed program. A children’s choir, the Celebration Singers, sang an African medley. Former Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair David Gantt received the Community Humanitarian Award for dedicated and continued service to the entire community from event founder and director Oralene Anderson Graves Simmons on behalf of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Brianna Rock, the 2012 recipient of the group’s Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship, shared how the community support offered through the scholarship has brought her closer to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor.

Keynote speaker, author, attorney and entrepreneur Patricia Russell-McCloud of Atlanta spoke passionately to the crowd. After opening her remarks with a recitation of Langston Hughes’ poem, “Crystal Stair,” Russell-McCloud encouraged the audience to act on the theme of the prayer breakfast. “I dare us, to stand up for fair play, an equal playing field and justice for all, not some,” she urged.

All photos by Cindy Kunst.

Additional coverage of Asheville’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations:


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.