Scottsdale students celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Thursday, Jan. 11, Saguaro High School and its student government and performing arts groups will host Scottsdale Unified School District’s annual “MLK Youth Voices” program.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. in the school’s auditorium, 6250 N. 82nd Street.

The Free Hugs Project founder Ken E. Nwadike Jr. (file photo)

The “MLK Youth Voices” program focuses on the importance of embracing diversity, but also similarities in the community, according to a press release. It is SUSD’s annual celebration of the life and relevance of the lessons learned from American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year attendees will have the opportunity to listen to and meet peace activist and video journalist Ken E. Nwadike Jr. The 36-year-old San Diego native is the founder of the Free Hugs Project. Video demonstration of his efforts to de-escalate violent confrontations at recent protests, riots and political rallies have received hundreds of millions of views on Facebook and YouTube, the press release stated.

The “MLK Youth Voices” program invites inspirational speakers to share with Valley high school students the obstacles they have confronted in their lives due to differences in race, culture and perspective, and how Dr. King’s message of the need to create a more inclusive society still rings true today.

Past speakers have included former boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and former National Football League Coach Marv Levy.

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