SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah's Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Day Association hosted its annual Business and Community Unity Brunch Saturday morning to foster conversations about how to make positive changes in Savannah.
Hundreds of people packed the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center for the annual breakfast. Community leaders, business leaders and citizens are able to share a meal and ideas about fostering Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideals in Savannah today.
"When I look around the room and I see people from all walks of life and I know that the unity is there, that lets me know that the dream is still alive," said Alton Wright, 2018 MLK Observance Day Association Marshal. "Of course, we have issues in our cities, our communities, our states and our nation, but if we continue to do things like this to bring in the communities together in this type of unity, I think everything is going to be great."
Civil Rights activist and Savannahian George Shinhoster was the keynote speaker. He worked for equal voting rights in Chatham County during the Civil Rights Movement, and he integrated the public school system. Shinhoster was one of the first seven black students to attend Groves High School. He says fostering relationships at events like the breakfast is essential to move everyone forward.
"We've got to talk," he said. "We've got to peel back the layers of the onion and get together to resolve issues, both of the city and the county as I'm hearing now or just us in general. We've got to get to know each other to have that level of unity that allows us to move forward."
The association also gave humanitarian awards to James Hall and Rep. Carl Gilliard. Gilliard received his for his work with Savannah Feed the Hungry.
This the organization's 39th celebration. This year's theme is "MLK50 Forward: Together We Win with Love for Humanity."