The 12th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Countywide Celebration was held on Friday, January 18, 2013 at Hilton Garden Inn. This commemorative annual event is dedicated to recognizing excellence in community service and humanitarianism by individuals and organizations in our community. The event also serves as a celebration of the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over 400 people were in attendance.
Theme: “Having The Courage To Overcome The Mountain.”
The reading of the Proclamation and presentation of awards was given by Mayor Don Gerard, City of Champaign; Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Smyth, City of Urbana; Chair Alan Kurtz, Champaign County Board; President Tom Ramage, Parkland College; and Vice President and Chancellor Phyllis Wise, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The event featured musical entertainment from “Mo’ Betta Music Program” and “Barrington Coleman.”
Rev. Keith Thomas of Mt. Olive Baptist Church delivered the Invocation and Benediction. Jennifer Rosco of WCIA served as the Mistress of Ceremony.
Mr. Ernest Green, Managing Director of Public Finance for Lehman Brothers, served as the Keynote Speaker. Also a member of the Little Rock Nine, a group of students who helped define the civil rights movement in the late 1950’s, he recounted the struggle against school segregation.