By Renarda Williams | Photography by Dero Sanford
DuShun Scarbrough deftly balances his time between family and community service. As executive director of the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, he is planning the nation’s largest day of service honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – the 2020 King Holiday Day of Impact. This Day of Impact complements the national initiative Day of Service.
The King Commission “promotes and preserves the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout Arkansas; and his principles of nonviolence,” explains DuShun. “We host programs in all four congressional districts. They are all designed to promote education and encourage youth to engage in positive leadership development in their communities.”
King Week 2020 will begin later this month in Hoxie commemorating the 65th anniversary of the integration of the Hoxie School District. Hosted by the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, King Week 2020 is a multi-event observance throughout the state previewing the King Holiday on January 20. “We also seek to honor and highlight the work of individuals and organizations in small towns throughout the state who demonstrate Dr. King’s spirit of service,” DuShun adds. Activities include an assembly and screening of the documentary Hoxie: The First Stand as well as a ceremony with surviving members of the Hoxie High School Class of 1955. Other community events include a testimonial from Sara Collins Rudolph, survivor of the September 1963 16th Street Bombing in Birmingham and various volunteer opportunities. “Through our programming, it is important to be inclusive and bridge generations. Senior citizens, the special needs community, young people – they all have a place in what Dr. King envisioned as the ‘Beloved Community.’”
The theme of the 2020 King Holiday is “Fatherhood Reloaded” – highlighting the important role of fathers in every community with a steadfast commitment to family. “One of his most famous quotes is ‘What are you doing for others?’ As a father and husband, I believe it is important to promote service throughout Arkansas,” notes DuShun. The commission works through partnerships with Arkansas Better Dads, a program of the First Assembly of God Church in North Little Rock. “Dr. King realized that the road to greatness was paved with service.”
The Commission will host the 2020 King Holiday Day of Impact on January 20 in Little Rock. The day begins with an Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion – celebrating unity, faith and fatherhood – followed by a service at Philander Smith College. “We want this theme to be the forefront of the King Holiday season encouraging stronger families, mentorship and service.”