YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 25th annual event

NOW: YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 25th annual event

NEW BERLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is being celebrated across the country Jan. 17, and also here in Wisconsin.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee hosted its 25th annual event Monday morning.

The event was virtual this year due to COVID, but that didn't change the impact of Dr. King's dream.

One of the biggest messages from the YMCA event is that no change is ever too small.

"People should be treated equal and fair, not because of how they look or where they live. That was not part of Dr. King's dream," James Kelly, Jr., a third grade student at Milwaukee College Prep - Lloyd Street School, said during his speech.

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continue to ring loudly in the youngest of souls.

"We can't just do what's comfortable anymore if we want change," St. Mary's Visitation School middle school student Darby Koehne said during her speech.

Three students won the YMCA's spoken word challenge and performed their pieces, influenced by Dr. King's mission of civil rights, social justice and change.

State and local officials encouraged everyone to join together and work as one.

"In order for our state and nation to thrive, every community has to work together," Governor Tony Evers said.

"We need many partners to work side by side, in pursuit of both healthier communities and better life outcomes for everyone," Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said.

Milwaukee Lutheran High School junior Terri Alise Mims also echoed Dr. King's call to action for justice, equity and equality.

"Let the goodness within pour out. A true journey, let us improvise the route. Hatred has put our souls in a drought. But with love we will figure out how life is about to change," Mims said during her speech.

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