Call for hope over hate at MLK Day service in Rock Island

“King always preached right over dipping down to do wrong,” said Pastor Angelo Julien, Living Water Christian Center.

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- A message of hope was shared at the King Center on Monday, January 15.

"Hate is too great a burden to bear," said sixth grader Jade Gasper.

As Gasper echos the theme at the 35th annual event, Dr. King's message is still relevant - even nearly 50 years after his assassination.

"I think so," said longtime staffer Ida Robinson.  "I think that this generation is going to keep it going on."

This audience can defeat hatred by standing up to injustice.  They're taking, "I have a dream," into today's reality.

"We have to stand strong and go for what we know is working," said keynote speaker Pastor Angelo Julien.  "That's the right thing to do. King always preached right over dipping down to do wrong."

Inside the King Center, it's more than eloquent words.  It's really a call to action and do something.

"Dr. King said the most urgent question you can ask is, what are you doing for others," said Jerry Jones, executive director at the King Center.  "That should be the call to action, leaving this place about what you will do for others."

That's inspiring the next generation to respond.  They're carrying this torch into the future.

"Martin Luther King Jr. was right," Gasper read from her prize-winning essay.  "We must stop the hate in this world."

It's a timely challenge on this MLK Day in Rock Island.