MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - More than just a celebration--that's the goal for this year's MLK50 commemoration for local civil rights advocates.
"We not only want to register voters, we want them to be informed and engaged," Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Earle Fisher said.
Ahead of the MLK holiday and during this yearlong 50th commemoration of the assassination of Dr. King, Pastor Fisher said it's an appropriate time to discuss voter empowerment.
"We won't be doing King justice if all we do is have some banners and banquets. What we need to do is make sure we are corralling people to be adequately and aggressively changing the social conditions, and you do that through policy as much as you do even more so than programs and parades," Fisher said.
Fisher is a part of the Memphis and Shelby County Voter Collaborative urging residents to get plugged in with resources that empower them at the ballot box.
A public meeting is planned for the third Wednesday of this month at 6 p.m. at Abyssinian Missionary Baptist Church in Whitehaven.
"We want to provide them with organizations that we believe are doing righteous work that are connecting them to the issues," Fisher said.
Rather than waiting until the 11th hour, Fisher said the time is now to push for voter education and registration.
"Many of the laws that we are subject to are unjust, and the best way to change them are to stand up and disrupt whether it be through protest and demonstration out in public or social media and consciousness raising, but you also have to try to affect what's happening legislatively," Fisher said.