The 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community celebration will feature a day of service and learning for Lawrence University students, culminating in a powerful message of action through unity from Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. A leading expert on diversity and privilege, Moore is a dynamic speaker and educator who leads his audience in interactive, fun, challenging and informative presentations. The celebration will also include musical performances, readings from student essay contest winners, and the presentation of community awards.
The celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy will be held Monday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public and will include a sign language interpreter.
In addition to Dr. Moore’s presentation, Fox Cities community members will be presented with the 25th annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty Community Leader Award and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Educator Award. This year’s recipients will be honored at a reception immediately following the program in Shattuck Hall 163 on the Lawrence campus.
The three local winners of the annual MLK student essay contest will also read their award-winning essays. This year’s winning student essayists are:
Feyikami Delano-Oriaran, 2nd grade, Classical School Appleton
Lilyanna Pieper, 6th grade, Huntley Elementary
Catlin Yang, 12th grade, Kimberly High School
In addition to the evening celebration, the Lawrence community will continue its tradition of engaging in a day of service through a variety of events:
The OxFam Hunger Banquet, sponsored by the LU Food Recovery Network, will kick off the day at 10:30 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center. The LU Food Recovery Network will lead an interactive hands-on activity highlighting the issues and laws that keep people trapped in poverty.
At 1 p.m., students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to volunteer at community organizations throughout the Fox Cities including Feeding America, the Menasha and Fox Valley Boys and Girls Clubs, and Riverview Gardens. These student-led initiatives benefit the community and help Lawrentians solidify the value of service learning.
Informal teach-in sessions, where faculty provide expert insights into community issues that impact equality for will take place across campus between 1 and 4 p.m. Topics include “Hunger and Health in a Wealthy Nation” and “The Global Climate Justice Movement,” among others.
Rev. Wanda Washington, founding pastor of Grace United Church of Christ in Milwaukee, makes an encore appearance as the keynote speaker at the 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr., community celebration of the late civil rights leader Monday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
Presented by Lawrence University and Toward Community: Unity in Diversity, with the support of numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches, and individuals, this year’s celebration features the theme “Building a Just World.” The Post-Crescent and The Avenue 91.1 are media sponsors of the event.
“Lawrence University is pleased and honored to once again welcome the Fox Cities community to Memorial Chapel for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. event,” said Nancy Truesdell, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Our students, faculty and staff will spend the day engaged in service projects and small group book discussions that will culminate in the evening celebration focused on the topic of building a just world. It remains so important that members of our community come together to remember the work and teachings of Dr. King so that his message of social justice and peace is carried on through young and old alike.”
Washington, who also delivered the 2010 MLK Jr. celebration keynote address, will use the movie “Shawshank Redemption” as a backdrop for this year’s remarks entitled “Hope is a Dangerous Thing.” She will discuss the importance of “tunneling through today’s challenges” and always remaining hopeful no matter how difficult a situation may be.
Called to the Ministry
Born and raised in Chicago, Washington spent 20 years as a special education teacher in Illinois, working with deaf-blind students at the Philip J. Rock Center. In 1986, she left her position as educational supervisor to accept a call to ministry, enrolling in the Chicago Theological Seminary where she earned a Master’s of Divinity degree.
Ordained in 1993, Washington served as associate pastor and director of pastoral services at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ for 13 years, assisting families with funeral services, participating in weekly worship services, including preaching in the absence of the senior pastor and supervising more than 100 “ministers in training” who were attending seminary.
Washington followed another call in the spring of 2006, moving to Milwaukee to tackle the challenge of starting a new church. She became the founding pastor of Grace United Church of Christ, a position she held until retiring in 2012 and moving to Indianapolis to be near her grandchildren.
In addition to her divinity degree, Washington earned a bachelor’s degree from MacMurray College and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.
“The life and legacy of Dr. King challenges each and every one of us to help build a more just and peaceful world in our communities, workplaces, neighborhoods and families,” said Kathy Flores, chair of the MLK Planning Committee and diversity coordinator for the city of Appleton. “Rev. Washington returns by popular demand and I expect she’ll deliver another rousing, inspiring and thoughtful message. Like Dr. King, Rev. Washington has used her ministry as a voice to help build a just world.”
Annual Diversity Award
As part of the celebration, Toward Community will present its annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty Unity in Diversity Award, which recognizes an area individual who has made great strides in bringing different people in the community together. Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna was the 2012 recipient.
Four area students will be recognized as winners of the annual Martin Luther King essay contest and will read their winning entries while Lawrence junior Zoie Reams and university organist Kathrine Hanford will provide musical performances.
This year’s celebration also will feature a special tribute honoring Dr. G. Manns, a local pastor, community leader and long-time volunteer in the annual MLK celebration, who passed away Jan. 8.
A tireless advocate for racial and social justice, children and all marginalized people in the community, Manns was the founder and senior pastor of Appleton Sanctuary Outreach Ministries. She founded and served as CEO of B.A.B.E.S. Respite & Counseling Services, a child abuse prevention program that provides support for young parents. She was a founding member of Toward Community: Unity in Diversity, worked with African Heritage, Inc. and was a past board member of Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs.
A sign language interpreter will be present for the program and a reception for all in attendance will be held following the event.
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.
Dorothy Cotton, the only female member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, executive staff and one of his closest confidants, delivers the keynote address at the 21st annual community celebration of the late civil rights leader Monday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.
With the theme “Martin Luther King Jr.: This Life and Legacy,” the celebration is presented by Lawrence University and Toward Community: Unity in Diversity with the support of numerous Fox Valley organizations, churches and individuals. The Post-Crescent is a media partner for the event.
The community celebration is in conjunction with Lawrence’s annual Martin Luther King “Day of Service,” which offers volunteer opportunities for students, faculty and staff. Part of this year’s activities includes a report on the recent “Life Study of the Fox Cities” at 11:30 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center.
“Everyone wants to leave his or her own mark on the world as we strive to live a meaningful and purposeful life,” said Pa Lee Moua, assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs at Lawrence. “Once we are gone, we hope to be remembered as heroes. In my opinion, there is no greater hero than someone who fights for the rights of others. Martin Luther King Jr. is truly a hero who continues to teach us the true meaning of love, peace and social justice.
Moua credits her father for instilling in her many of the values embraced by Dr. King.
“As a very influential man in my life, my father told me, ‘Respect and reputation doesn’t come from being too rich, educated, or powerful; it comes from being a humanitarian. You will never regret giving your time to someone in need. And as you grow older, you will look back and forever cherish these experiences because you will have already made your mark on the world.’”
Cotton began making her mark in the early 1960s as the education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she provided training for the disenfranchised on the importance of political participation, voter registration and nonviolent protest. In 1964, she accompanied King to Oslo, Norway, where he was presented the Nobel Peace Prize. Following King’s assassination, she served as the vice president for field operations for the Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta and became Southern Regional Director for ACTION, the federal agency for volunteer programs.
A native of North Carolina, Cotton has addressed issues of race relations, multiculturalism/diversity, personal development and nonviolence education around the world. Following more than 20 years engaged in civil rights activities, Cotton spent 10 years as director of student activities at Cornell University. She also is one of the founding members of the National Citizenship School, which focuses creating publicly accountable institutions that reflect high democratic ideals and support individual capacity to live a meaningful life.
“Having Ms. Cotton as our keynote speaker is a rare and rich opportunity for the Fox Valley,” said Kathy Flores, chair of the MLK Planning Committee and diversity coordinator for the city of Appleton. “While many people participated in marches during the Civil Rights era, Ms. Cotton had the honor of working side-by-side with Dr. King as a member of his staff. We hope many members of the community take advantage of her appearance and come hear her share her real-life experiences with us.”
In addition to Cotton’s remarks, the King celebration will feature the presentation of the annual Jane LaChapelle McCarty Unity in Diversity Award. Given by Toward Community, the award honors an area individual who has made great strides in bringing different people in the community together.
The celebration also features readings by area student winners of the annual Martin Luther King essay contest and musical performances led by Tim and Ezra Dorsey and 2008 Lawrence graduate Erica Hamilton.
A sign language interpreter will be present for the program and a reception for all in attendance follows the event.