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Fairborn's First Annual MLK Day Celebration is Ready To Launch

Lede Image for MLK Day Story.jpg
Courtesy of Fairborn City Schools
This painting by eighth-grader Juell Henson is one of many student artworks, essays, and videos created for Fairborn's First Annual MLK Day Celebration.

The Fairborn City Council and City Schools say they want to start talking about equality and social justice with some of their youngest residents.

Fairborn will host an MLK Day party online this evening.

The event will feature prizes for Fairborn students of all ages who participated in essay, art and video contests on topics related to civil rights.

Clint Allen, a city council member, says it shows just how far Fairborn has come in the last half century.

"Fairborn, all the way up until 1965, was considered a 'Sundown Town.' If you were not white, you could not be in the town after dark," Allen says.

This is the first major project put together by the Fairborn Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The committee was started when the schools and city council saw young residents organizing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing last summer.

Allen says their goal is to create opportunities to discuss equality and social justice, and Amy Gayheart at the Fairborn City Schools says it's nice to see students take the lead in those conversations.

"When you really give them a chance to share their voices, they will amaze you. And as educators, those are the moments we love. We thrive on those."

The event will stream on Facebook Live at 7p.m. tonight.

Fairborn MLK Day Artwork (1)
Courtesy of Fairborn City Schools
All students in the Fairborn City Schools have had a chance to participate in creative contests and learn about civil rights in the run-up to this year's first MLK Day celebration.