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In honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., local community members and organizations in Evansville and Henderson will host events next week to highlight the significance of the federal holiday.
Henderson celebration of unity
On Monday at noon, the Henderson-Henderson County Human Rights Commission is hosting an hour-long event at the Henderson First United Methodist Church at 338 Third St.
The keynote speaker is Pam Reid, an author, motivational speaker, Air Force veteran and project director of Convergent Non-profit Solutions. Reid also manages the capital campaign for the Henderson Boys and Girls Club.
“My focus is really going to be about our responsibility and what we do and how we contribute to being unified (as a community),” said Reid.
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Other representatives from the community will also be in attendance, including Director of Latino Ministries Abraham Brown, Mayor Steve Austin, Judge Executive Brad Schneider and the Rev. Charles E. Johnson, executive director of the city’s Human Rights Commission.
“It’s a very diverse program that’s a reflection … of what our Tri-State looks like and what I want our Tri-State to continue to look like,” said Johnson.
Music for the event will be provided by the Henderson County School of Fine Arts choir.
Pam Reid will do a book signing after the service to promote her new most recent publication, “Flow: Feel Love Over Worry.”
For those unable to attend in person, the event will be broadcast on WSON radio and through the Henderson First United Methodist Church website.
University of Evansville's annual MLK Day celebration
Starting at 10:30 a.m., the University of Evansville will hold events throughout the day to honor King’s legacy.
The morning will begin with the grand opening of the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CDEI) and the Multicultural Student Commons on the second floor of the Ridgway University Center. According to the university’s website, the CDEI was created to cultivate cross-cultural appreciation and relationships for the betterment of the Evansville community.
A rally will take place at the Meeks Family Fieldhouse at 11:15 a.m. to recap the significance of the celebration. It will include remarks from UE President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz and other faculty and students.
The Martin Luther King Lectureship will begin at 6 p.m. with guest speaker Lerone A. Martin, award-winning author and associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Guests are invited to attend a reception in the Class of 1959 Gallery afterward.
University of Southern Indiana virtual event
On Monday at 11 a.m., the University of Southern Indiana will host a virtual presentation, “Hope for the Future,” by Gwendolyn Webb.
Webb has a doctorate in special education from Illinois University and is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, and the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University.
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The event will be held via Zoom and is free to the public. The invitation is available on the USI Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Celebration website and will also be recorded for later viewing.
This article originally appeared on Henderson Gleaner: Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in Evansville and Henderson