Brescia University, in partnership with the Owensboro Human Relations Commission, will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. The celebration will be held on January 16th at 10 AM in Taylor Lecture Hall on Brescia’s campus. Before the celebration, there will be a march that begins at 9 AM at Owensboro High School and will conclude at Taylor Lecture Hall. This event is free and open to the public.
Jaklyn Hill, Executive Director of the Owensboro Human Relations Commission, stated, “We do this event annually for many reasons. Not only is it a wonderful celebration of, and tribute to, the triumphs and tribulations of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. It also serves as a platform for our community to come together to recognize our progress and address present issues in our community and hold conversations of community growth with the principles of peace, love, nonviolence, and unity that Dr. King and his movement instilled in us.”
The celebration titled “Celebrating Black History & Unity in Our Community” will have a number of community members speaking, including Mayor Tom Watson and Judge Executive Charlie Castlen. The Keynote Speaker will be Chris Singleton.
Brescia University Executive Vice President, Dr. Lauren McCrary, Ed.D., said, “We, along with our other local partners in higher education, are honored to host the Martin Luther King, Jr. event. Brescia University respects the work of Dr. King by closing our campus and allowing our students and community to come together to acknowledge systemic injustices and the brave work of so many to counteract these wrongs in a peaceful way. We are grateful for the bravery of Chris Singleton in sharing his tragedy to shine a light on the power of love and forgiveness in the face of hate.”
Chris Singleton is a former minor league baseball player drafted by the Chicago Cubs and an inspirational speaker who has been featured on ESPN, E:60, Sports Illustrated magazine, and USA Today. Singleton’s mother, Sharonda Coleman Singleton was murdered along with eight other victims at Mother Emmanuel AME church in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015 by a racist white supremacist. He has become a nationally-renowned speaker with a message of resilience, for forgiveness and unity following his mother’s death. He inspired his city and the nation by him forgiving the man who murdered his mother and stating that “Love is Stronger Than Hate.” Chris engages his audience through his personal experiences of adversity and his belief that God can guide you through any storm. Chris now shares his message with over 80 organizations annually and his clients include: Boeing, The Houston Texans, Microsoft, Biogen, Volvo, The Washington Wizards and over 100,000
students and educators across the world. One of his children’s books, Different – A Story About Loving Your Neighbor, was a best seller in its category and has been featured by numerous outlets, including The Obama Foundation.
Chris’ overall mission when speaking is to inspire his audiences with his story of resilience and to unite millions of people. He resides with spouse Mariana, his sons CJ and Caden in Charleston, SC.
Other events in the community to honor Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. include The NAACP program, which will be held Sunday, January 15th at 3 PM at Zion Baptist Church. The speaker will be Rev. Ricky Hill, Pastor of 7th Street Baptist Church in Henderson, KY.