Renowned New York radio personality Imhotep Gary Byrd was honored by the Frontiers International Plainfield Area Club on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

At an event held Monday at Plainfield High School, Byrd served as the keynote speaker for the club’s 42nd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast. The event is the oldest King Day celebration in New Jersey. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Where Do We Go From Here,” based on the title of King’s final book and his 1967 speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Byrd highlighted the nearly 15-year history to establish the King holiday that was introduced after King’s assassination by Georgia Congressman John Conyers and late Massachusetts U.S. Senator Edward Brooke. Byrd also discussed the role his close friend and music colleague Stevie Wonder played in making the holiday a reality. In 1980, Wonder released the song “Happy Birthday” to promote the passage of the federal holiday.

“In view of where we are today in this current political environment, it is imperative that we don’t lose hope; learn from our history and continue to demand that change takes place where all, and not just a few, will benefit,” said club president, the Rev. Louis C. Slade.

Frontiers International of Plainfield also honored youth advocate and school board member Richard Wyatt Jr. with the Community Service Award and local business owner Malcolm R. Dunn with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Several local high school students were awarded with scholarships at the event, including Jonathan Joel Freire, Kyra Ann Greenwood, Jasmine A. Huggins, Joshua J. Matthews and Bryant Alexander Yancha-Pazmino.

Frontiers International, Inc. is an African-American service organization with a focus on community involvement and mentoring youth.