Events set to highlight MLK Day

Staff report


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Planning Committee of Mahoning County will commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a celebration highlighted by a community service of worship at 3:30 p.m. next Sunday at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 707 Arlington St.

There also will be a community workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 19 at First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Ave. The theme for both programs is “Civil Rights Fifty Years Later: Remembering What is Civil and Doing What is Right.”

The ecumenical worship service will include a feature presentation by Pastor Todd Johnson of Agape Assembly Church in Warren. A lifelong member of Agape and the youngest son of Pastor Emeritus George and Sister Linda Johnson, Pastor Todd was ordained in the ministry at age 19 and appointed spiritual leader of Agape in 2012. He is a 2000 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School and received his secondary education at Geneva College where he majored in community ministry. The service also will include musical presentations by a combined youth choir from area churches, and Scripture readings by representatives of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.

The Jan. 19 workshop will feature a number of local voices and community activists as it addresses Dr. King’s challenge to fight for justice, civility and what is right. Holly Welch, curriculum supervisor at Choffin Career and Technical Center, will speak about education; Jim Cossler, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator, will address the issue of economic development; Jaladah Aslam, co-convener of the MLK Planning Committee and president of the Youngstown/Warren Black Caucus, will speak about social justice; and Jerome Justice from The Villa shoe and apparel store in Liberty will speak about community entrepreneurship. The Villa, which gives a 20 percent discount to all students Thursdays, will give anyone who attends the workshop a 25 percent discount on merchandise until Feb. 19.

After these presentations, attendees will participate in round-table discussions on initiatives for community collaboration and coordination on the issues presented by the panelists.

There is no charge for either event.

Jaladah Aslam, Rev. Kenneth Simon and Penny Wells are the co-conveners of the MLK Planning Committee. For information on any of the activities, contact the committee at 330-746-3250, ext. 183.

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