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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events across Hampton Roads on the 50th anniversary of his death

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Wednesday marks 50 years since Civil Rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down outside of a Memphis, Tennessee hotel in 1968.

People from across Hampton Roads will joins thousands around the world to celebrate him throughout today.

In Newport News, members of the "Southern Christian Leadership conference" will participate in a "Community discussion on violence" and continuing the civil rights leader’s vision of non-violence.

Everyone is invited to participate in the discussion at the Belgian Waffle Restaurant on Warwick Boulevard.

The event begins at 4:30 p.m.

The Hampton Chapter of the NAACP will host a vigil for the civil rights leader at Bethel AME Church on Lincoln street at 7 p.m.

If you plan on attending, you're asked to bring a canned good for the foodbank.

“We will honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream by celebrating our next generation of leaders” said Gaylene Kanoyton, President of Hampton Branch NAACP.

Lastly, Chowan University is also holding an MLK commemoration ceremony.

“Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration on the 50th Anniversary of his Assassination.”

The event will be held ]at 7 p.m. at Chowan University in Turner Auditorium of McDowell Columns Hall.

Organizers said the point of the event is to “unite the University and the surrounding community to honor Dr. King”.

There will be two tributes: The first lecture given by Dr. Gregory S. Taylor, Professor of History, will discuss the 1960 Greensboro, NC sit-ins.

The second lecture will examine institutional racism (past and present) by Dr. Cicely J. Cottrell, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.