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Activists march with purpose on MLK Day while others give back to community

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As Americans honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, a group of KC activists said they marched to highlight the issue of police involved shootings. About 100 people gathered at Sanford brown plaza to honor Dr. King’s legacy and his life of non-violence.

According to One Struggle KC, it organized the MLK Day march to let the community know that black lives matter.

“We want people to know we are Ferguson as well, and that those same things have not only happened in other cities but they have happened in Kansas City,” said Britt Coleman with One Struggle KC.

Kansas City 3rd District City Councilwoman Melba Curls agreed.

“I know we've had some issues with people being killed unarmed by our police department, but I think it's frustrating all around, so we need to try to remedy things and work together,” Curls said.

Marchers say the fight for civil rights and equality is not over, and that's why they used King's holiday to

“There is a problem of racism in this country and it needs to be tackled. We can't scrub it under the rug anymore it has to be brought out to the light,” Clark Neal of Leawood, Kan., said.

“All lives matter, but the spotlight is on black lives taken at an alarming rate. So it's important for the community to know we care, and that we haven't forgotten those that have been lost,” said Kelvin Haynes of Lee’s Summit, Mo.

One Struggle KC organizers said they hope to have a forum with the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department and the community to talk about equality and justice for all. There is another MLK memorial march for murder victims Monday night at 7 at prospect and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard.

Day of Service

Some marched on Monday, but others in the metro celebrated MLK Day as a day of service.

At the 8th Street Family YMCA, youth volunteer groups worked on a handful of projects, from gardening to cleaning out storage spaces. The club's executive director, Simeon Henderson, says there's always plenty of work to be done on the 100-year-old building.

"It shows how important the YMCA is to the community and how much community members value the YMCA to volunteer to donate their time. They could be doing anything anywhere else, but instead they choose to come here,” Henderson said.

The volunteers also sorted through donations at a thrift store and took care of the cats at an area animal shelter.