Food is always a great way to bring people together, and the Sunup Initiative and the City of Corbin partnered Sunday to do that with a brunch in honor of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The group hosted a free brunch at the Second and Main Event Center in downtown Corbin drawing close to 100 people.
“This is the first time that the Sunup Initiative has done any kind of MLK event,” said End Mass Incarceration, also known as “E.M.I.,” co-coordinator for the Sunup Initiative.
After working to have Corbin city leaders sign a proclamation recognizing the events of Oct. 30, 1919, when an angry mob, led by Steve “Pistol Pete” Rogers, took the city streets in an effort to round up approximately 200 African-American residents and force them to leave town after a white man had been mugged by two black men.
The proclamation also recognized the efforts of a number of white residents who attempted to protect their black friends and neighbors.
“On one hand we have already succeeded getting Corbin to publicly acknowledge what happened in 1919 and that is not what we are about anymore,” E.M.I. said.
“Our deeper goals are getting people together, building community, and helping people realize this is an awesome place to live, regardless of who you are or where you come from,” he said.
The Sunup Initiative is continuing to hold monthly public meetings as it continues its efforts.
The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at Corbin Middle School.
February is Black History Month.
E.M.I. said he would like to see the group plan a film series to celebrate Black History Month.
“This is not about saying, ‘Bad Corbin,’ but showing that is not what Corbin is today,” E.M.I. said. “We are starting to have conversations about how we can keep this going.”