Thursday January 4, 2007

Blending Our Voices

This month's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration includes a worship service, youth workshops, interfaith prayer breakfast, awards program, musical and a popular march that annually attracts thousands from all points of the city.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration Committee today outlined a slate of community events to honor the legacy of the slain civil rights leader.

A worship service, youth workshops, interfaith prayer breakfast, awards program, musical and a popular march that annually attracts thousands from all points of the city are all on tap between now and Jan. 15, organizers announced at a news conference on campus.

"This is an outstanding community effort and the best in the country," said Daniel J. Curran, UD president, who serves as honorary co-chair of the celebration with Al Wofford, president and CEO of CDO Technologies.

Last year, the University of Dayton partnered with the Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to draw nationally syndicated Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page to Dayton for the annual banquet honoring King's legacy. This year, UD and the SCLC have attracted Johnnetta B. Cole, who made history in 1987 when she became the first African-American woman to serve as president of Spelman College. She's president of Bennett College for Women and past chair of the board of trustees of the United Way of America.

Cole will headline the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Holiday Celebration and Presidential Banquet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15, at the Mandalay Banquet Center. For ticket information, call 937-268-0051. She will keynote UD's annual Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom on campus. It's open to the campus community and requires a ticket. Go to http://campus.udayton.edu/~ku/tickets/ to order online. The talks are part of UD's Diversity Lecture Series.

The slate of all events include:

MLK Worship Service, 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 7, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church. Keynote speaker will be Helen Jones-Kelly, newly named director of the Ohio Job and Family Services Department and general chair of the celebration.

Teen Forum, 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 8, at Bomberger Teen Center.

MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, 7 a.m., Friday, Jan. 12, Ponitz Center, Sinclair Community College. Keynote speaker will be G. Edwin Zeiders, president of the United Theological Seminary.

Awards Programs for the 22nd Annual MLK Art, Poetry and Prose Contest and 20th Annual MLK Scholarship Contest, 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12, Smith Auditorium, Building 12, Sinclair Community College.

MLK Musical, 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, Fairhaven Church.

MLK March, 10:30 a.m. (West, Roosevelt Center) or 11 a.m. (South, Montgomery County Fairgrounds; North, Memorial Baptist Church; and East, Union Hall, 2100 block of E. Third Street), Monday, Jan. 15.

A Taste of Dialogue, noon, Monday, Jan. 15, Schuster Performing Arts Center.

MLK Presidential Banquet, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 15, Mandalay Banquet Center. Keynote speaker will be Johnnetta B. Cole, president of Bennett College for Women.

"This year's theme is '50 Years of Struggle, We're Taking Them Back.' It has been 50 years since the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and this year's MLK celebration will remember the struggles of the last 50 years and look toward a new day and a new way," said the Rev. David I. Fox, coordinator for the celebration.