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Wilmington community gathers for MLK Day of Service, peace march

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Rachel Sawicki
/
Delaware Public Media
Youth led the peace march.

Wilmington residents gathered today [Monday] for a day of service and celebration on MLK Day.

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Rachel Sawicki
/
Delaware Public Media
Peace marchers made signs for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Nearly 300 people took to the streets of Wilmington Monday morning and afternoon, first with garbage bags in hand picking up trash, and later as a group for a peace march.

Event organizer Shantel Love says on Martin Luther King Jr. Day there are many different ways to serve.

“MLK said you don't have to be from a certain walk of life to serve, it doesn't matter," Love says. "So you find what is special to you whether it's giving back to the unhoused population, or cleaning up your community or donating money, whatever makes your heart soar. That is your service and that is your gift to the world.”

Love adds they were also celebrating the opening of the My Sister’s Keeper Community Center, a youth empowerment center for girls ages 12 to 18.

Miss Wilmington Aisha Monroe says she is also celebrating Founders Day for her sorority - Zeta Phi Beta.

“One of our key principles is scholarship and service, so it's a double way to give back. Just lead with love and service and scholarship and support to uplift the community in any way you can help them, even sharing a post.”

The sorority is the first National Pan-Hellenic Council organization, founded at Howard University in 1920 during the Harlem Renaissance. That was a time when the KKK was highly active and the sorority's founders wanted to address prejudice and poverty, particularly among the Black community.

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Rachel Sawicki
/
Delaware Public Media
Leaders speak following the peace march.

Following the march, new Wilmington Police Chief Wilfredo Campos spoke to the crowd outside the new center, calling the day a show of unity.

“This is what it's all about, community engagement, being out here with the community, making sure that I support them because I'm going to need them. We can't do this alone.”

Other organizations like the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Public Allies Delaware, and the Rockford Center partnered with the MSK center to provide outreach services to those in attendance.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.