PEORIA, Ill. — While many had the day off, hundreds of people still packed the Peoria Civic Center for the annual MLK luncheon.
Where former mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum gave a speech about DR. King’s impact.
“To be able to have access to the ballot box, to be able to get on a public bus and sit anywhere I want to or go into any public accommodation that I choose and be served is a direct legacy of Dr. King,” said key-note speaker Andrew Gillum.
Gillum started his political career at the young age of 23 and went on to become Florida’s first African-American nominee for governor. He says you are never too young to bring change to the world.
“At any age that you are that you have the opportunity to get into the process that if you see something you don’t like you have the opportunity to change that,” said Gillum.
Former NBA star and Peoria native Shaun Livingston was also at the luncheon and was honored with a road sign in his name. He attributes much of his success to Dr. King and those alike.
“He’s one of the reasons that I’m standing here, the opportunities that were provided to me at the time that I was coming up wouldn’t have been possible without him and many other of our strong African-American leaders,” said Livingston.
Gillum says Livingston is much deserving of this honor.
“I have been places that have Barack Obama street, Martin Luther King dr. and now I’m proud to have visited a city that has its own Shaun Livingston way.
The sign will be placed near Livingston’s old alma mater, Peoria High School.
At the end of the day, the two paid respect to Martin Luther King Jr’s impact.
“For me, it was just always about what I could do for others, how I could help others and I wouldn’t be here if people didn’t help me and help instill that into me,” said Livingston.
“The future that Dr. King talked about that he envisioned for us said that with a great opportunity to vote that it presented a great beacon of light of hope to millions of disinherited people who had only dared to dream of freedom,” said Gillum.