FRANKFORT, KY (1/11/12) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) and the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a ceremony Thursday, Jan. 12, at 4 p.m., at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort.
The ceremony’s guest speaker is Roszalyn Akins, a Lexington native with degrees in education and history from Transylvania University and Georgetown College. She has served as an educator in Fayette County Public Schools for 27 years and is currently Dean of Students at Leestown Middle School. In 2006, Akins founded an academy for black males entitled “Future BMW” (Black Males Working), with the mission to educate, motivate and activate the potential for excellence that lies within every African-American male. At present, 135 young males are enrolled and as a result of its success, Georgetown College, Murray State University and the University of Kentucky offer full scholarships to any male who completes the academy successfully.
Gov. Steve Beshear will participate in the celebration. During the ceremony, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson will present the Citizenship Award to Pamela Smith-Wright, Mayor Pro Tem of Owensboro. Smith-Wright has been a small business owner and educator in Owensboro for over 30 years. She is a graduate of Leadership Owensboro and the Kentucky Women’s Leadership Network, and has served on the Advisory Board of Cosmetology of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. In 1999, she was honored with the Owensboro Human Relations Humanitarian Award for her years serving as chairperson and president for the Owensboro Human Relations Commission and for her civic involvement.
In 2010, Smith-Wright was the first African-American elected to the Owensboro City Council, and because she was elected with highest vote total of any city official, she holds the office of Owensboro Mayor Pro Tem. She has demonstrated dedication to Dr. King’s dream by organizing and participating in the first MLK Celebration Parade in Owensboro. In January 2011, she gave a speech at Brescia University to those gathered to honor Dr. King with the message “I am the Dream.”
The ceremony is free and open to the public.
Information provided by the KY Historical Society
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