Pekin Public Library hosts YWCA's 21st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

By WEEK Reporter

January 18, 2014 Updated Jan 18, 2014 at 11:30 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- 200 people packed the Pekin Public Library Saturday for the YWCA's 2st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

Peoria Councilwoman Denise Moore and business owner Doris Symonds spoke at the event. The program also included performances by students from Willow School.

"He gave all of himself--not just for his family and children... But for the greater society," said Councilwoman Moore.

It is a message that Timothy McKinley wants his daughter to learn.

"I just hope that she doesn't see color. I hope that she sees people," said McKinley. "I just hope that she doesn't grow up in a place that I would have grown up here in Pekin."

"Pekin at one point was a time that was less than welcoming to minorities," said Councilwoman Denise Moore. "Pekin has evolved since then. It is embracing the values of Dr. Martin Luther King."

Students from Willow School in Pekin danced, chanted and performed several acts they have been working on that sends messages of peace and love.

"We hope that we open their eyes and minds at a really young age so that they're more open minded as adults," said Figge.

"They are the ones who are going to be taking care of me 30 to 40 years from now," said Moore. "I want to make sure that the education that they receive is the type that will take them to the future."