Leaders hold Dr. King rally in downtown Charleston - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Leaders hold Dr. King rally in downtown Charleston

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A Pastor prays over the rally. A Pastor prays over the rally.

Dr. Martin Luther King's most famous speech during the summer of 1963 was 1,667 words long.

It's message, however, could be whittled down to just for words: "I have a dream."

The word, "violence," was mentioned only once in the speech, but throughout this year, the word has been on the lips of many after two women were shot and killed and one was wounded on New Year's Day.

Community leaders are hoping that King's non-violent message will be something neighbors of North Charleston and the Lowcountry can rally around.

"It's time to stop talking about this whole problem," Pastor Thomas Dixon said. "It's time to stop going to the table and discussing what's wrong. We need to come up with viable solutions that we can implement and change this whole process around."

It has now become Dixon's dream to see actual change in the community. He said that was the motivation behind why he planned Monday's rally.

Pastors and other leaders took time speaking to the dozens who attended. In addition to speaking about violence, organizers spent time talking about registering to vote and signing up for healthcare.

It was also a time to remember.

Members of Janet Royal's family attended the rally, hoping their presence would put a face on the affects of violence.

Royal was one of the two women killed earlier this year. The family is still processing the loss.

"It's been hard for us, Danielle Moten said. "It's been a drastic change for us because my Aunt was the backbone to our family. It's like a big chunk missing. We miss her a whole lot."

Wearing t-shirts and hats with Royal's pictures, the family didn't speak publicly at the rally. Instead, the silently showed their desire to continue spreading King's message of non-violence past the day dedicated to him.

"It's important for them to know that this is just one day for MLK, but it must go on," Moten said. "It can't stop. It has to keep going on and on and on."

Later in the night, those who remained at the rally lit candles to remember the victims and their families.

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