Speakers, tours will highlight experience of Black Americans

At least four public programs in Wayne County will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Most government offices and some businesses will be closed Monday for the holiday.

Before his death at age 39 by the bullet of an assassin on April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. King had become a national civil rights leader. His birthday on Jan. 15, 1929, is commemorated as a national holiday on the third Monday in January.

Local programs are planned by Churches United For Christ, Ivy Tech Community College and the Levi and Catharine Coffin House State Historic Site, and a live remote is sponsored by Earlham College, IU East and the Richmond NAACP chapter.

Earlham, IUE, NAACP

Symone Sanders

Symone D. Sanders will be the guest during a virtual program at 7 p.m. Sunday, hosted by Earlham College, IU East and the Richmond NAACP chapter.

Joe Green, director of Earlham’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, will moderate the 90-minute event.

“Symone Sanders is a trailblazer in the world of politics, a powerful voice in the pursuit of equality and a fierce advocate for juvenile justice reform,” Green said in a news release. “As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, I am honored to join Symone for an evening of reflection in the context of the challenges we still face today.”

Sanders, 33, joined MSNBC news in January 2022. She is a former deputy assistant to the president and senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris. She published a book, “No, You Shut Up.”

At 25, she became the youngest presidential press secretary on record, taking that position with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. She was named to Rolling Stone’s list of 16 young Americans shaping the 2016 election.

The program is free but registration is required at iuemlkcelebration2023.eventbrite.com.

Churches United For Christ

The Rev. Martel Winburn Sr. will be the guest speaker at a 5 p.m. Sunday program at First Assembly of God, 315 National Road West, Richmond.

As a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Winburn hosts a program, “Beyond the Church Walls,” on WCTV. For more information, contact the Rev. Ron Chappell of Churches United for Christ by email, rbchappell@gmail.com or phone, 765-977-6542.

The worldwide AME Church claims more than 2.7 million members.

Ivy Tech

Bryan Terrell Clark

Bryan Terrell Clark, an actor known for his role as George Washington in the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” will speak at the annual “Living the Dream” breakfast at 8 a.m. Monday in Johnson Hall at Ivy Tech Community College, 2357 Chester Blvd., Richmond.

Terrell has a long list of credits in theater, movies and television and is a singer, songwriter and producer. He received the 2018 Voice for Social Justice Award From Rutgers University, the 2019 Gallery of Success Award from Temple University, HELP USA 2019 “Help Hero Award” for volunteerism for his ongoing commitment to social change and activism.

Tickets are $25 each or $10 for students at tinyurl.com/mr28eu3h. For ticket questions, send email to bjackson335@ivytech.edu. For other information, send email to tconley18@ivytech.edu.

Proceeds will go to the Ivy Tech Spirit of Diversity scholarship.

Coffin Historic Site

Free admission, tours and a viewing of a TV series about the Black experience in America will be offered Monday at the Levi and Catharine Coffin House State Historic Site, 201 U.S. 27, Fountain City. The site commemorates experiences of Black Americans who escaped from slavery to freedom along the Underground Railroad.

Free guided tours of the Coffin House – a station on the Underground Railroad — will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Registration is encouraged; walk-in visitors will be accommodated if there are vacancies. Register at 765-847-1691.

Self-guided tours of the Interpretive Center will be available from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Viewing will be offered of the four-hour TV series, “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise.” In it, Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes a personal journey with scholars, celebrities and others through the last 50 years of African American history.

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Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.