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Father of Walmart shooting victim to keynote King event

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The 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast will be held Monday, Jan. 20, at 8 a.m. at the Las Cruces Convention Center, 680 E. University Ave. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m.

This year marks the first commemoration since the mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart in El Paso, where 22 innocent lives were lost, and 24 others were wounded, including the daughter of keynote speaker, Pastor Michael Grady, former president of the El Paso NAACP.

His daughter, Michelle, was shot three times, and doctors claim it’s a miracle that she survived. She has undergone three surgeries, with more to come. She spent 55 days in the hospital.

Grady recalls rushing to the scene just after the shooting, “I prayed that she wasn’t suffering,” he said. “I prayed for courage. I prayed for the families of the other victims.”

Mass shooting are a reality in the United States, with similar stories of families forever changed and lives cut short having played out from Columbine to Sandy Hook, movie goers at Aurora, parishioners in Charleston and in Sutherland Springs, and the concert goers in Las Vegas.

Grady will speak of his own experience and how it has shaped his worldview. The breakfast also will feature a tribute to honor the victims of the Walmart shooting in which his daughter was wounded.

The day prior to the breakfast, there will be a voter registration drive and a march from Las Cruces City Hall to the AFSCME Union Hall at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19.

Tickets for the breakfast are $30. Go to the naacpdac.org website, or email info@naacpdac.org to purchase tickets.

Dr. Bobbie Green, who traces her roots to the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon, was the first black child to attend MacArthur Elementary School in Las Cruces. She later attended Alameda Junior High and graduated from Mayfield High School. Green has a BA in English from USC, an MBA from City University in Seattle and a Ph.D. from Seattle University. She became president of the Doña Ana County NAACP in January 2019.