MLK Day activities set Sunday, Monday in Youngstown

Staff report


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Planning Committee of Mahoning County will commemorate the life and work of the civil-rights leader with a celebration highlighted by a community worship service at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Greater Friendship Baptist Church, 646 Lakewood Ave.

There also will be a community workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday at First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Ave.

The theme for both programs is “Remembering What is Civil and Doing What is Right: An Examination of Institutionalized Racism.”

The ecumenical worship service will include a feature presentation by Minister DeVante Hudson, student ministries intern, New Mercies Christian Church, Lilburn, Ga., an Atlanta suburb.

A Youngstown native, Hudson earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is a candidate for a master of divinity degree with a concentration in human rights and black church studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, also in Atlanta.

At 17, Hudson became a licensed minister under the leadership of Bishop Kenneth and Pastor Leta Paramore at the Christ Centered Church in Youngstown.

The service also will include musical presentations by a combined youth choir from area churches, and readings by representatives of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths.

The Monday workshop, which will feature another presentation by Hudson, also will include a number of local voices and community activists as it addresses issues of institutionalized racism and Dr. King’s challenge to fight for justice, civility and what is right.

Ben McGee, former superintendent of Youngstown City Schools, will speak about education; Councilman Julius Oliver, D-1st, will discuss issues of entrepreneurship; Patrick Kerrigan, director of the Oak Hill Collaborative, will speak about criminal justice reform; and Shienne Williams and Omar Aslam will address concerns of the Mahoning Valley’s youth.

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

There is no charge for both events.

Jaladah Aslam, the Rev. Kenneth Simon and Penny Wells are the co- conveners of the planning committee. For information on any of the activities, call 330-207- 4467.

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