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William Jewell to host Northlandís annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration
Contact: Dr. Cecelia Robinson816-415-7659
December 21, 2011

William Jewell College will host the Northland’s 28th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration with a program beginning at 10 a.m. January 16 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on the college campus in Liberty, Mo. The program is free and the public is invited to attend; tickets or reservations are not required.

The featured speaker for the event is Patricia Okonta, Liberty High School alumna and currently a student at Yale University. In addition, campus and community leaders will be honored with the Martin Luther King, Jr., community service award, and the William Jewell College Concert Choir will perform.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration speaker Patricia Okonta was the first African-American student body president at Liberty High School. She also served as vice president of the National Honor Society, was a member of the Key Club, African-American Association and the section editor of the school newspaper. Patricia was recognized as a National Achievement Finalist, Fox 4 Reaching for Excellence Scholar, Coca Cola Scholar Semi- finalist, a Black Achiever Award recipient and received a full scholarship to attend Yale University through the Victor Wilson Scholarship. She participated in Missouri’s Girls State and has worked with Holiday Bell Ringing, Safe Halloween and Harvester’s Food Pantry. She is currently pursuing a double major in political science and global affairs with an emphasis in international security at Yale.  During her first semester at Yale, she was elected as a representative in Freshman College Council and served in various groups including the Black Student Alliance and the Yale Political Union. She also serves in Visions, a mentoring group that pairs Yale women with inner-city girls.

The Martin Luther King, Jr., community service award recipients for 2012 are:

  • Harold “Biggy” Houston, (posthumously)
  • Milton Taylor, Korean War veteran & Buffalo Soldier, Excelsior Springs, Mo.
  • Anna Marie Martin, Liberty, Mo.
  • Lee Minor, Liberty, Mo.

The Invictus Award for Social Justice will be presented to Dr. Robert L. Hill, Senior Pastor, Plaza Community Christian Church, Kansas City, Mo.

A free public reception will be held immediately following the program in the White Atrium of the Yates-Gill College Union. For more information, contact Dr. Cecelia Robinson, 816-415-7659, or robinsonc AT william.jewell DOT edu. For a campus map with driving directions to William Jewell College, go to http://www.jewell.edu/maps

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