PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Thousands are set to march through Washington DC Saturday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech that galvanized a country. And next Saturday, the dream that started 50 years ago will live on with a local march in Peekskill.
Peekskill's Youth Football League and Social Progress Advocates For Real Change will host a "March On Washington Street" at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 kicking off on Washington Street and Welcher Avenue with a program to follow later in the day at Peekskill Middle School.
SPARC Co-Founder Colin Smith said he's hoping to see a large turnout next Saturday.
"Not everyone can go to the event in DC but many of us thought it was important to still do a march to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the original March On Washington," he said. "We're hoping that the message of unity continues in Peekskill."
SPARC previously hosted Peekskill's Vigil for Trayvon Martin in July. SLAKDJ said that event started the message of gathering to support local unity and that SPARC wanted to keep that message alive.
"We've come a long way in terms of race relations in our country and in particular in Peekskill, but we still have a lot of work to do," he said. "There's still a concern in the community that we could use more unity within our own community and that's what this is about."
Youth Football League President Tony Mitchell said it was important that the youth in the community not only learn about their history, but see positive messages of unity being spread locally.
"This was an opportunity to support SPARC, which is a group that is spreading a message of positive change throughout Westchester," Mitchell said. "I think our kids need to see that there are people who support this message and I think other people in the community need to see there are kids who are looking for positive changes too."