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King Day at the Dome celebrated virtually

The annual MLK day event went virtual for the first time in 21 years.

For more than two decades, "King Day at the Dome" has attracted thousands of people to the South Carolina State House to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. 

This year, the South Carolina NAACP hosted the event virtually because of the pandemic.

"We must not lose what Dr. King's message was to us; whatever affects one directly, affects us all indirectly," said SC NAACP President Brenda Murphy. "I see this as an opportunity every year not only to celebrate Dr. King but the men and women that he fought for every day," said Mayor Steve Benjamin.

This year's theme was "Where Do We Go From Here?" the same title as Dr. King's final book. Several guest speakers discussed issues, including criminal justice, education equity, and health care. 

Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina's state epidemiologist, spoke on how the coronavirus impacts African American communities disproportionately. She also shared insight into the vaccine's development to get more African Americans vaccinated.

"An African American woman, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, is among the NIH scientists who directly developed the Moderna Vaccine," explained Dr. Bell. "Dr. Fauci has praised her for the vaccine's development."

RELATED: Martin Luther King Jr remembered with virtual MLK Day celebrations

Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 92-years-old this year. As the world celebrates him, civil rights activists and state leaders urge folks to use this day to reflect.

"Are you doing everything you possibly can during this day of service to your fellow man? asked Rep. James Clyburn. "Ask this question, then decide the answer."

RELATED: USC kicks off MLK weekend with free virtual events