Blue Ridge Job Corps Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would not feel complete at Blue Ridge Job Corps a visit from Dr. William Reid, the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Bristol, VA, who has served as the guest speaker for the past several years, to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Although COVID-19 protocols prevented Dr. Reid from visiting in person, he was still able to deliver his message via video chat, and the message was as important today as it has ever been.
As a young boy growing up in the small town of Anniston, Alabama, in the 1950s and 60s, Dr. Reid witnessed many instances of racial injustice which proved why the civil rights movement led by Dr. King was so very necessary. Dr. Reid states that though racial injustice was and is still a major issue, it was not the only form of injustice in his youth, nor is it the only form today. “We are facing many challenges in our country today,” Reid stated. “We’re dealing with racial, economical, and political injustices, and the lists goes on.” Dr. Reid stressed that it is only right to try and correct these injustices when they are seen, but urged that we must not let our emotions and violence overtake us, else we defeat our own purpose. Dr. King had a dream of unity, and although we have yet to reach this goal, there is still hope.
As he finished speaking, he left the students of Blue Ridge Job Corps with a charge to get involved. “As myself and many others are slowly moving off the scene, we need a new generation to pick up the mantle,” he explained. “The place is here and the time is now to build the bridge of unity, and plant the seeds of hope, so that your children and grandchildren may bask in the shade thereof.”