BAKER, La. — On Monday, January 16, 2023, the City of Baker hosted an event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the event "Speaking Up Against Injustice". The event was presided over by Ms. Kinta Cage.
The City of Baker School System Unity in Action Ensemble, led by Ms. Wanda Robinson, Choral Director, Mr. Roland Stewart, Assistant Director, and Mr. Anthony Kaglear, Band Director provided the day’s music.
The invocation was by Dejah Jordan of Impact Charter School and the Baker Buffalo Festival Queen, Ms. Sarah Evans led the pledge of allegiance. Following this Mayor Darnell Waites welcomed the crowd. Following the Mayor's address, the crowd enjoyed Army SPC and 2019 Baker graduate Mr. Robert (Nevar) Harrison's beautiful and impressive cover of "Glory" and young Mr. Travis Dabney’s reading of Dr. King's prolific speech "I Have a Dream". After the song selection and reading selection the crowd was treated to another musical selection by the City of Baker Unity in Action Ensemble and a poem by Mr. Brannon Ford of Impact Charter School.
The City of Baker School System also awarded the winners of the "Speaking Up Against Injustice" Art Contest. The contest was judged by Judge Kirk Williams, City of Baker Courts, Baker City Councilman Charles Vincent, City of Baker Heritage Museum, and the Baker Branch Library Manager, Ms. Ashley Broussard. The contest was broken down into three groups of student ranges - K-3, 4-8, and 9-12. The winning art pieces. Dr. De'Ette Perry, Superintendent of the Baker School System [pictured left] and Baker School System School Board President Mrs. Joyce Burgess [pictured below] presented the children with their recognition certificates as winners of the art contest. The winners were congratulated and joined by Mayor Waites for a group photo.
Following the program, all participants joined hands and marched outside for the dedication of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. The procession was led by the City of Baker Unity in Action Ensemble. The crowd congregated at the newly erected park monument for a ceremonial ribbon cutting and the recognition of prior council members who had passed the resolution honoring Dr. King,
Mayor Waites spoke giving recognition to the previous council members for their perseverance in seeing the resolution for the dedication through to completion. The resolution was read to the public and Mayor Waites presented each council member with certificates of recognition.
The dedication was completed with the ribbon cutting by Councilman Charles Vincent, prior Councilwoman Joyce Burgess, and Councilman Robert Young. Following the ribbon cutting the ceremony was closed with the group singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" accompanied by Army SPC and 2019 Baker graduate Mr. Robert (Nevar) Harrison.
Refreshments were served in the Municipal Auditorium following the event which were supplied by the Baker Fire Department. [pictured left Baker Fire Department Chief Keith Pease].
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