Rev. Charles Becknell Sr.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of New Mexico will again celebrate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy as a civil rights leader, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.

SCLCNM will hold its event online through a Zoom webinar Jan. 17. Rev. Charles Becknell Sr., who’s also state president of SCLCNM, said the webinar will take place from 11 a.m. to around 1 p.m. Becknell said the discussion will focus on King himself and some of the events he was involved in during the Civil Rights Movement.

Louisiana state Rep. Randal Gaines, a nationally recognized attorney and the vice chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s national board of directors, will speak at the event.

“I’m sure he will touch on some of the moments that Dr. King was involved with. He will probably touch on some of the issues we’re facing today. He’s an attorney, so he’s very involved in voting rights. We’ll probably spend some time on the need for the right to vote and what’s going on around the country now about (how) the right to vote is being taken away,” Becknell said. “That’s part of what the Civil Rights Movement was about: getting African-Americans the right to vote without all of these restrictions.”

Becknell said SCLCNM will also award four $500 scholarships to University of New Mexico students.

“To a student at the university, it means a lot. We’re just doing our part,” Becknell said. “$500 means a lot to an African-American student who’s struggling at the university just to make it through the semester. They’ll be glad to get it, I assure you.”

SCLCNM will also award a scholarship to the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association for a law school student, according to a press release.

To register for the webinar, visit goto.unm.edu/pr3tv. For more information, email Becknell at cbecknell@sclcnm.org.