Date: January 4, 2010
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Activities
WESTVILLE – Purdue University North Central will be the site of the 15 th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 18 at 8 a.m. in the PNC Library-Student-Faculty Building cafeteria. The event, sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Committee and Purdue North Central, is free and open to the public. The event's theme is “Wake Up Martin Luther – Welcome to the Future."
Gerry Jones, executive director of the Stepping Stone Shelter for Women in Michigan City , will be the moderator for the breakfast. Pastor William H. Fine of St. John's United Church of Christ in Michigan City , will deliver the invocation.
The featured speaker is Dr. Quentin Smith, one of the last surviving pilots of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen distinguished themselves during World War II and played a key role in the Allied victory, in spite of the fact that the U.S. Armed Forces were still segregated.
Dubbed the “Red Tails” the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a plane. The Red Tails earned 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, among other medals. Their heroism and exemplary record were credited with helping lead to the eventual desegregation of the military in 1948. Smith was leader and trainer of 162 black pilots who were arrested when they were refused entrance into the officer's club in Seymour , Ind.
Smith was the first principal at West Side High School in Gary , elected to the Gary City council and is a member of the Steel City Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by Congress and President George W. Bush in 2007.
The Michigan City Soul Steppers will perform as well. Dr. Sharron Jenkins, PNC assistant professor of Chemistry, and soloist will offer a song.
Breakfast participants are asked to bring a book to be donated to the annual Bring a Book to Breakfast program, sponsored by the PNC Student Education Association. All books will be given to the Literacy Council of Healthy Communities of LaPorte County.
Donors for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration include Horizon Bank, LaPorte Savings Bank, Swanson Center and the the Chancellor's Diversity Fund.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dr. David Pratt, PNC associate professor of Education , Debra Pratt, continuing lecturer of Education, Dr. Mary Jane Eisenhauer, assistant professor of Education and students in the PNC Department of Education organization Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education (PLAYCE) and Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society, will travel to the Michigan City Public Library to lead a series of activities for children. All children are welcome to attend, but activities are intended for youngsters ages two to 12. This will include games and crafts and a chance to listen to Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” speech and write about their own dream. Children will also enjoy coloring pages, a bingo game and stories read aloud.
Also from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., PNC students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to join a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Service Project at one of two community agencies - Michiana Resources, of Michigan City , or LaPorte Family YMCA.
Volunteers may contact Amanda Martin in the PNC Center for Service Learning & Leadership at
email@example.com or call 785-5200, ext. 5461 to register.
Information about the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Breakfast and activities may be obtained by contacting Laura Weaver, PNC Service Learning Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or
cal l785-5200, ext. 5742 . Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Weaver.
Reservations are not required.