On Friday, Jan. 21, the African American Alliance of Idaho Falls will host its annual banquet, honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The banquet will feature dinner and two keynote speakers, F-22 Pilot Daniel “Fuzz” Walker and NASA Systems Engineer Michelle Amos and will take place at Melaleuca headquarters. A silent auction also benefits students with hopes of going to college. The banquet is the organization’s staple event and has become one of the largest Dr. King celebrations in Idaho.  

David Snell is the president of the organization, which has been in existence for 16 years. The organization strives to strengthen the community and bring people together. Advice from Snell’s mother has served as inspiration.  

“My mom always told me the way you get to know someone is sit down and have dinner with them,” Snell said.  

Snell has followed this council. Aside from the banquet, the African American Alliance has hosted a BBQ for Idaho Falls first responders. They also had breakfast with the city’s police chief, who plans to meet at least once a year to discuss and listen to concerns regarding policing in the area. Snell is happy to see these relationships being made.  

“For us to have a nice community we have to work together,” Snell said. “That’s what the African American Alliance is trying to do, just work with those members of our community… to get to know each other on a personal basis.”  

Dr. King has been an inspiration for Snell. He had the opportunity to stand where King gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and visit where he was assassinated.  

“Right then I just thought, ‘Man, I want to try to make an impact,’” Snell said.   

That moment inspired him. He felt strongly that he needed to find a way to leave things better than he found them.  

More information about the African American Alliance and MLK Banquet can be found here