Workshop honors and applies Dr. King philosophies and teachings
If 19-year-old Shaniece Howell could sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she would first thank him for standing up to injustices and spearheading a movement that changed the nation.
In addition to unifying people of diverse races, socioeconomic backgrounds and lives, the slain minister and civil-rights icon has had a profound effect on her life.
“I’d like to know how he stayed so peaceful and not let negative people impact him,” said Howell, a Youngstown State University student who’s studying to be a pharmacist.
She added that King’s example also showed her the importance of not being a silent witness to bullying and other types of injustice.
Honoring and applying his philosophies, works and teachings also was the main topic of Monday’s 31st annual Community Workshop Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gathering at First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Ave.
Sponsoring the three-hour workshop was the Martin Luther King Planning Committee of the Mahoning Valley. The event was themed “The Struggle for Justice: Owning our Past, Claiming our Future.”
An estimated 100 religious and community leaders, elected officials and others attended the gathering, which acknowledged the visions of local grass-roots organizations that continue to address issues of social justice, peace and community and individual empowerment, organizers said.
The Rev. Dr. Lewis W. Macklin II, pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, was moderator.
A few years ago, Howell, who works in YSU’s records office, learned a lot about King, the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth and other key civil-rights activists. In 2011, she was part of Sojourn to the Past, a 10-day, five-state history program that takes adults and high-school students through the South to retrace the steps of the modern civil-rights era of the 1950s and 1960s and meet people who played vital roles in the movement.
Workshop panelists were the Rev. Henry L. McNeil, president of the Community of Faith Credit Union; Dr. Dorothy Collins, dean at Eastern Gateway Community College; Patrick Kerrigan, executive director of ACTION’s Home for Good and Oak Hill Collaborative programs; and the Rev. Robbin Del Nagro of the Mahoning Valley Association of Churches.
Read more in Tuesday’s Vindicator.