Miami community groups come together for MLK Day of Service

MIAMI (WSVN) - Breaking down barriers, young and old came together this Martin Luther Jr. holiday weekend to take part in beautification and landscaping projects across Miami.

Saturday morning, volunteers with Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, Greater Miami Service Corps and Citibank gathered to work on the Martin Luther King Boulevard beautification service project, at the intersection of Northwest 62nd Street and Interstate 95.

“The great Martin Luther King says that we shall overcome, and we are making effort to overcome,” said the Rev. Anthony Tate of the New Resurrection Community Church.

Tate said the event, held in partnership with Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service, evokes the slain civil rights leader’s stirring speeches. “To see black boys and white boys, Hispanics join together in the same community, what I would say a collage of folks of color working together,” he said.

Among the volunteers who lent a helping hand were members of Girl Power. “Martin Luther King represented community spirit, and I suppose, for me, it’s part of recognizing that attribute to help the community,” said Girl Power volunteer Norce Harris-Bolete.

At Brownsville Middle School, community groups worked hand in hand to serve the school. From weeding to planting, mulching and painting, it’s a labor of that began with an investment into the school’s students by the Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel law firm in Miami.

“One of the things we started, which was our signature project, was to make sure that we developed a 21st century mock courtroom and law academy at the school,” said Jerry Hamilton with the law firm.

This was one of many beautification projects taking place across Miami this weekend.

About 700 FIU students took time out of their weekend to clean up and beautify several South Florida schools, hoping their work will inspire the younger generation.

Students told 7News Dr. King remains a wellspring of inspiration. “[We aim to] continue his legacy through service projects, and just spreading the message of inspiring, working together so that we can have a great future,” said FIU student Lamar Johnson.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was very important,” echoed fellow student Maricarmen Figueroa. “He had a dream, and everything about — how everyone should come together, and everyone should learn from the past and learn how to give back to your community.”

The Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard marquee got a makeover of its own. “It’s about time that this boulevard is more beautiful than it has been in the past,” said Hardemon. “This organization, which is full of youths, young men and women who want to help us take care of it.”

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will make its way through the streets of the City of Miami on Monday.

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