Thousands attend MLK Prayer Breakfast in Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Thousands attend MLK Prayer Breakfast in Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Around 2,000 people attended the YMCA of Greater Charlotte 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Prayer Breakfast at the Charlotte Convention Center on Monday.

Governor Pat McCrory opened the ceremony by praising the character building programs of the organization.

McCrory said in his welcoming remarks the McCrorey Family YMCA continues to fulfill Dr. King's dream of building fellowship among people of all races and developing the confidence and character of Charlotte's youth.

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was also in attendance and remembered civil rights legend Dr. King.

The keynote speaker for this year's breakfast was accomplished actor, and author, Hill Harper.

Best known for his role as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CSI: NY, Harper is also a graduate of Harvard Law School and the author of New York Times best seller "Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny."

He spoke of how far we've come since Dr. King started his work and where we are now.

"We've certainly come a long way as far laws regarding civil rights, however, if we start peeling back some numbers we start seeing some problems," said Harper.

"Right now we are locking up an alarming number of poor folks across this country predominately African American and Latino. And so if we start taking a look at that we can see we are failing. And where are we failing. We are failing in our lower income communities in the public school system. We see that there is a direct pipeline between drop-out rates and incarceration rates so these are the issues I believe today Dr. King would be speaking about."

Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit McCrorey Family YMCA programs for children and will allow teens to participate in the Y Achievers program.

The McCrorey Family YMCA was founded in 1936 to provide learning and leadership development for Charlotte's African American community.

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