Troy Athens MLK Celebration Jan. 20

Troy Athens MLK Celebration Jan. 20Toms Custom Painting Ad

(City of Troy Press Release, Jan. 19, 2014)

Honor the legacy of one of America’s greatest leaders at the 2014 “MLK – A Celebration of Freedom,” a tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The annual program takes place at Athens High School, 4333 John R, on Monday, January 20 at 8:30 am.  There is no charge to attend, but donations will be accepted to help organize next year’s program.  All ages are welcome.

“We look forward to capturing the spirit of Dr. King and remembering his life through this celebration,” Cindy Stewart, Community Affairs Director for the City of Troy said.  “This community event is a meaningful way to pause and reflect on his uncompromising dedication to garnering civil rights for all people.”

The Celebration kicks off with a welcome by Prasanna Vengedam, founding President of South Asian nicholas-schrock-allstateAmerican Voices for Impact.  She will also lead our symbolic Unity Walk with Troy School District students around Athens High School.

This will be followed by our Keynote Speaker Kimberly Simmons, creator of a program called, “Caroline Quarlls, A Family Legacy of Freedom” that was recognized by the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom in 2005 as a national program of the network.

Kimberly’s ancestor, Caroline Quarlls, is documented and honored historically as the first Underground Railroad escapee through the State of Wisconsin in 1842 and the program is a view of her journey over three months and 1000 miles through five states and into Canada after crossing the river at Detroit. “Due to my ancestors’ route to freedom and the research around her journey, my presentation touches many well known and other unsung heroes in this region as well as the Midwest as she was escorted to freedom.

“It is this heritage that gives me opportunity to speak on the intersection of courage and freedom typified HowesLocationby the man the day honors – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Kimberly Simmons.

There will be music performances by the Barnard Elementary School Jammin’ Jays, “A Celebration of Diversity” and the Troy High School Colts Drumline. A continental breakfast prepared by Sodexo Food Service will immediately follow the program

In addition, there will be a Troy School District Middle School Student art exhibit and recognition of the middle school and high school winners of the MLK Essay Contest and Video Contest. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. JudyPalmer01Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”   This year’s theme for the essay and video contests is “How has your education shaped both your intellect and your character?”

Organized by the City of Troy and the Troy School District, this year’s event is sponsored by: Alliance Mobile Health, Beaumont Health System,  Troy Community Coalition, Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence, Walsh College, Sodexo Food Service, Troy Interfaith Group, Big Beaver United Methodist Church, Kelly Services, Lutheran Church of the Master, and Community Bowling Centers – Troy Lanes & Bowl One.

“We are so grateful to our local businesses for sponsoring this wonderful event,” added Stewart.  “They are also an inspiration in their commitment to partner with the City of Troy and Troy School District in supporting such a moving tribute to Dr. King.”

Learn more about the Troy School District at http://www.troy.k12.mi.us/pages/Troy_School_District.

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