MLK Parade

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Preston Marshall and grand marshal for the 2017 MLK Parade, Morris Copeland.

The executive board of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Parade and Festivities Committee Inc. has set Jan. 16, 2017 as the date of the 40th year of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Northwest 54th Street and Ninth Avenue. The check-in spot for float participants is in the east corner of the Winn-Dixie parking lot at Wendy’s.

The executive board of directors for the MLK Parade are: Reverend Timothy Griffith, chairman; Ladi Jenkins, president/treasurer; Gigi Tinsley, vice president; Louella Grayson, 2nd vice president; Denise Stewart, secretary; Reverend Douglas Cook, chaplain; and Brian Dennis, security.

PARADE’S BEGINNING

Reverend Dr. Preston Marshall Jr. founded the MLK Parade in 1975 to honor a man he had learned to love and respect and to ensure that his legacy would never die. In 2015, Preston died. The MLK Parade lives on to now to honor both Dr. King and Dr. Marshall’s memories. They both “Had Dreams” so that we can now “Be The Dream.”

GRAND MARSHAL

The grand marshal for the 2017 MLK Parade will be Morris Copeland, director of the Juvenile Justice Department for Miami-Dade County (JSD). His niece and nephew will be his escorts.

“We chose Mr. Copeland as grand marshal because he is bent on not having these kids get a record,” said Tinsely. “He does what he can to direct any of the youth away from the penal system. He has programs in place that steer youth away from criminal activities that they could possible get into and that’s why we chose him as grand marshal.”

Copeland was appointed director in January 2011 of juvenile services, formerly known as the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC).

In that capacity, he provides leadership to a department whose mission it is to serve arrested juveniles, those at-risk of being arrested and their families. Since opening in 1997, the facility has processed more than 190,000 juveniles and has been repeatedly recognized for its “front end” approach to juvenile justice. Copeland brings more than 26 years of experience to his current position, including serving as the deputy director of JSD since 2007. A former juvenile justice administrator with Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, he is considered an expert who has helped enhance JSD’s standing as a nationally and internationally recognized model of juvenile justice reform.

The JSD model was highlighted in May 2008 at a summit hosted by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Copeland serves on numerous boards and committees throughout Miami-Dade County, and on a state and national/international level. Copeland is an advisor to The National Advisory Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He serves as an instructor for the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Copeland currently serves as a board member for the Miami Children’s Initiative, the Urban League of Greater Miami, the Miami-Dade County Youth Crime Task Force, the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice 11th Judicial Circuit Advisory Board, and the Dade-Miami Criminal Justice Council.

In 2003, Copeland received the designation of Certified Public Manager from Florida State University. In 2007, Copeland successfully completed the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Driving Government Performance Certification Program.

Copeland is a native of Miami-Dade County, a graduate of the University of Colorado and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

THE DREAM BANQUET

In April 2017, those who have shown themselves to be a part of “The Dream Team” will be crowned and honored at a banquet. In addition, the second fundraising contest for the Mr. and Ms./Mrs. (18-UP) MLK Parade; Mr. and Ms. (13-17) MLK Parade; and Master and Miss (12-5) MLK Parade will be crowned.

The Miami Times is the official media partner of the MLK Parade. The winners will be featured in a 2017 edition of The Miami Times and in the 2017 MLK Parade guidebook.

For questions about the contest, please contact Minister Gigi Tinsley at 786-470-7334.

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