GOSPEL ARTIST TAMELA MANN: The event had an atmosphere similar to a church service, with speeches and performances that inspired hope and recommitment to the work that highlights Dr. King’s legacy. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHNNY LOUIS/JLNPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Miami – The event recognized the 56th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Approximately 1,800 people attended the 19th annual Reclaim the Dream Candlelight Memorial and Gospel Concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Fla. on April 5. Notable attendees included Miami-Dade County Mayor Danielle Levine Cava, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and Florida State Sen. Shevrin Jones.

The Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation (MLKEDC) hosted the event with City of Miami Chairwoman, District 5 Commissioner Christine King, and Miami-Dade County District 3 Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

The event had an atmosphere similar to a church service, with speeches and gospel performances that inspired hope and recommitment to continuing the work that highlights King’s legacy.

The Florida Memorial University Ambassador Chorale performed first, followed by Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir, who sang some of his signature songs, including "Grateful."

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and Producer Tamala Mann also had the crowd on their feet with an uplifting melody of her signature songs, including "Take Me to the King."

The memorial culminated with a candlelight prayer led by Pastor Gaston Smith. Attendees raised flameless candles overhead, symbolizing the power of small acts to spark change.

Martha Whisby-Wells, backed by the Reclaim The Dream Community Choir, led the crowd in singing "This Little Light of Mine," in a poignant moment during the event.

Five hundred seniors were bused in to enjoy the event, which organizers said aimed to celebrate King’s life and legacy by encapsulating his enduring message of faith, fairness and justice.

Chairwoman King emphasized the event’s role in fostering unity and resilience in facing challenges, saying she viewed it as an opportunity for individuals to reinvigorate their dedication to the ongoing pursuit of civil rights and a more just society.

Commissioner Hardemon praised the event as a source of unity and inspiration within the community, highlighting its significance in honoring KING’S lasting influence and mobilizing efforts toward justice and equality.

Amina Mcneil, the president & CEO of MLKEDC, underscored the ongoing work needed to realize King’s vision, stressing the importance of proactive initiatives to cultivate a fair and equitable society for all.

For information about the MLKEDC, visit mlkmiami.com.