Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be honored at area celebrations

A step competition at Bowie High on Saturday is part of Arlington’s MLK festivities.
A step competition at Bowie High on Saturday is part of Arlington’s MLK festivities. Star-Telegram archives

The Arlington MLK Committee has been working for months to plan the events for the upcoming 4-day celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The festivities begin on Friday, Jan. 12 with the ‘Advancing the Dream’ awards banquet in the Bluebonnet Ballroom on campus at UT Arlington. The keynote speaker is human rights advocate Martin Luther King III, the oldest living child of the famous civil rights leader. NBC 5 newswoman Courtney Gilmore will emcee the evening’s activities.

After dinner and entertainment, winners of the art and essay contests will be introduced at the banquet as they are presented scholarships from the MLK Celebration committee. First Place winner in the essay contest and recipient of a $1,000 scholarship is Isaac James from Arlington High School. Banquet tickets are $55 each and can be purchased at

Tarrant County College Southeast campus faculty member Nita Halliburton is co-chairing the MLK Committee along with Sharon Jones.

“We’re so pleased to welcome Martin Luther King III as our guest speaker to help kick off the 4-day celebration at UTA on Friday evening. This year we’ve made a few changes to some of our events, but we still expect to have a full and exciting celebration of Dr. King’s birthday,” Halliburton said.

“The Multicultural Festival usually sponsored at Tarrant County College Southeast campus will not be held this year. And the Slam Poetry event has been changed to ‘Poetry Meets Jazz’ as we add a different touch to that event,” explained Halliburton.

“There is still much excitement expected at the annual Step Show event on Saturday morning and the Youth Extravaganza that closes out the celebration on Monday evening.”

Admission to the 11 a.m. Step Competition at James Bowie High School is $10 ($5 for elementary age and younger). The Poetry Meets Jazz event is a 7 pm in the Bluebonnet Ballroom at UTA. It will feature Verb Kulture and the music of Shelley Carroll. Admission is $20.

The Hubert Moss Ecumenical Service is set for Sunday, January 14 at 6 p.m. at the Greater Community Missionary Church, 126 E. Park Row Dr. The keynote speaker is Kate McGee, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Again this year, the MLK Day of Service is set for Monday, Jan. 15. Volunteers are asked to gather at Mission Metroplex, 400 W. South St. at 9 a.m. to receive their assignment. “The best way to honor Dr. King is through service to your community,” writes Toni Kincaid who is in charge of the day’s activities. “We are excited about the impact this MLK Day of Service will make in our community.” Monday at 6 p.m. the Youth Musical Extravaganza at Fielder Church will conclude Arlington’s 4-day celebration.

Additionally, another organization – the Toyota North Texas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Celebration – will be hosting a parade at 10 a.m. on Jan. 15 that will begin and end in Arlington’s entertainment district. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will be the parade Grand Marshal. To inquire about this event, call 212-920-9147.

Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said, “Dr. King was a leader among leaders. And when you study his work, you realize that that is the goal of every community – to be able to have everyone working together on an equal plane. In my 30 years here, the MLK Celebration has always been a fun time – an inspirational time – of a man’s life who made a difference.”

Learn more about Arlington’s celebration at

Students learn to care for animals responsibly via contest

It’s the trifecta of good outcomes when kids in grades 3-6 enter the animal essay contest hosted by the city’s Animal Services Department. First, it’s great writing practice. Second, it teaches them how to responsibly care for pets, and third, there’s a chance to win some exciting prizes. The last day to enter is Friday, so best to get pen and paper (or keyboard) fired up quickly.

Any child in residing in Arlington is eligible to enter the competition by submitting an essay that is 500 words or less. Third graders are to write about what animal they would be if they had wings, while fourth graders will explore what pets need beyond the basics of food, water and shelter. How the lives of animals can be improved is the topic for fifth grade, and sixth graders will opine about what animal shelters in 2060 might be like.

Prizes are a Kindle Fire HD and a $100 savings account. Essays may be delivered to the Water Customer Service Desk at City Hall, 101 W. Abram St. or South Service Center, 1100 SW Green Oaks Blvd. or the Animal Services Center, 1000 S.E. Green Oaks Blvd. Teachers may mail or hand-deliver entries from their students. To learn more, ask your child’s teacher or check out

Your healthiest self is the focus of women’s event

Becoming healthier and living to our full potential are popular goals at this season when everyone feels the promise of a new year and a fresh start. Women wanting to capitalize on this line of thinking will want to sign up for the annual Health & Wellness event hosted by the Women’s Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

Set for Jan. 25 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the UTA University Center in the Rosebud Theater, the event is expected to attract at least 100 attendees. The theme is “Achieving Your Healthiest Self” and will feature a variety of presenters from the healthcare industry as well as hot appetizers and time for socializing and networking. A physician panel will include an orthopedist and an obstetrician/gynecologist as well as an oncologist and a cardiologist who will be available to answer questions from participants.

Co-chairs of the event are Deborah Su from Medical City Arlington and Laura Hoffman from the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

“I have had the honor and pleasure of being a part of the Health and Wellness program for the past 6 years and it never fails to surprise me the caliber of physicians and the unique contact we have with these medical professionals as we seek to be better informed and educated,” said Su.

“Every year I learn something new, meet new people and it is so rewarding to hear from our attendees how something they heard about or someone they met changed their lives.”

Registration is $35 for Alliance members and $45 for non-members. Sign up at or send an email to or call 817-275-2613.