MOULTRIE — About twenty years ago, the Colquitt County Branch of the NAACP started celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The first celebration was an inspirational program held at Mother Easter Baptist Church.

A few years later, the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration parade was organized by some of the NAACP members and spearheaded by Isabella Brooks, who was branch secretary at that time. Each year since its organization, on the date set aside for King’s birthday celebration, the NAACP sponsors an inspirational program on Sunday and a parade throughout downtown Moultrie on Monday. Various dignitaries including Congressman Sanford Bishop have served as grand marshal of the parade.

This year’s Sunday, Jan. 15, program will be held at Union Missionary Baptist Church at 6 p.m. with the Rev. Leroy Thompson Jr. as the speaker. He resides in Tallahassee, Fla., and is former pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Moultrie.

The grand marshal for Monday’s parade is Wendy Wilson, a native of Detroit, Mich. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College in organizational management and a master’s degree in human resource management from Central Michigan University. She is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in applied management and decision science from Walden University.

Much her professional career has been dedicated to human resource management. For the past two years, she has held the position of ACE Fellowship coordinator and director of minority advising at Darton College. She most recently began to host the cable TV show “Profiles of Success.”

She serves as a board of director to the SOWEGA Council on Aging and the Deaf Hearing and Sign Language Center of Detroit, Mich. She is also an active member of the National Council of Negro Women and the local chapter of Blacks in Government.

She is married to Jeffrey Wilson and the mother of daughter, Iman, and son, Jeffrey Wilson Jr.

The parade will begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, and line-up begins at 2 p.m.

This year’s theme for the celebration is “Promoting: Unity, Justice and Equality”

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