Making its way on a chilly, 17-degree morning through downtown Durham on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a mass of a few hundred marchers keeps pace behind a banner for Durham’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: “Forward Together, Not One Step Back.”
The crowd grows in numbers as the morning’s festivities commence. Among those who spoke at the rally were vice president of NC Mutual Life Kimberly Williams Moore, Durham Board of Education member Mike Lee, Children First preschool founder Donna King, and chairwoman Wendy Jacobs of Durham County Commissioners. Jacobs’ words were brief, but struck at the core of the day’s message: “We know that love is what will conquer hate. That was Dr. Martin Luther King’s message to us, and now more than ever we know that that is the truth. Love over hate!”
Cold temperatures presented no challenges to the marchers in Durham on the morning of MLK Day. The crowd kept spirits high through cheering and singing in celebration of the late Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
One by one, the 42 children from the Durham Head Start program left their appointments smiling and walked into the waiting room to reunite with their friends. To top off a morning full of positive energy and warm spiritedness, the dental students formed an aisle for the kids to run through as they whooped and cheered, congratulating them on a successful, painless visit to the dentist.
The forty-two Durham Head Start children were welcomed with smiles, laughter and adventure as some dental students treated their patient’s seats as a space shuttle, shifting the controls up and down while simulating a space-time experience: “Ready? One, two, three– and take-off!”
UNC dental student Carolina Guerrero uses a fluoride solution to clean the teeth of Durham Head Start’s Nigel Dawkins, 4, as part of the complimentary oral assessment.
Amidst the arts and crafts fair two floors below the dental action taking place upstairs, to their delight, children were greeted by a mild-mannered 6-month old Golden Retriever puppy.