(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress)

Ohio Wesleyan, Delaware to Observe Martin Luther King Day

By Cole Hatcher

(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University and the Delaware County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee will explore “Who in Our Midst is the Next MLK?” during the 2015 observance of King’s enduring legacy.

The observance will begin with the 30th annual Delaware-area worship service at 3 p.m. Jan. 18 at William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St., Delaware. Beryl D. Anderson, J.D., will discuss today’s youth and tomorrow’s history-makers. Anderson is a former international communications director for Rosa Parks, whose refusal to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 spurred the Montgomery boycott and other efforts to end segregation.

Anderson also is a former C-SPAN television personality and producer; the first African American TV journalist to be part of the Supreme Court Press Corps; a former president of the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; a member of the National Press Club; and a former Ohio deputy secretary of state. She served three terms on Gahanna City Council and currently is president of her own media, business, and consulting company.

Delaware’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance will continue at 7:45 a.m. Jan. 19 with the 22nd annual MLK Breakfast Celebration in the Benes Room of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. Jennette B. Bradley, the first African American woman in the nation elected as a state lieutenant governor, will deliver the keynote address.

Bradley served as Ohio’s lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2005. She also served as Ohio’s 45th state treasurer from 2005 to 2007 and as a Columbus City Council member for 11 years. Currently, she operates a consulting business, J. Bradley Partners LLC.

Delaware youth also will take center stage during the two-day MLK observance with children from the Liberty Community Center performing a mini-play and displaying a special art piece created by all of the center’s children and their parents to illustrate the theme of King’s “Beloved Community.”

The center’s 3- and 4-year-old Caterpillar classroom pupils will perform at Sunday’s worship celebration and its 4- and 5-year-old Bridge K classroom pupils will perform at Monday’s breakfast. On Monday, dance teacher and performer Tyisha Nedd will dance to “True Colors” to highlight the children’s performance. A recent cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University, Nedd’s dance will illustrate the “finding of one’s true colors through tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, and respect of others to become who you are destined to be.”

In addition, youth from St. John African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church of Columbus will perform at both events. Highlights will include St. John’s member and Olentangy High School freshman Michael Carter reciting King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and St. John’s member and Thomas Worthington High School freshman Lloyd Hawthorne singing King’s favorite song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”

Artwork created by pupils from Delaware City Schools also will be on display at the MLK breakfast to help recognize and celebrate King’s enduring legacy.

The Jan. 19 breakfast will begin at 7:45 a.m., followed by the program at 8:30 a.m. Individual breakfast buffet tickets are $20, with eight-person table sponsorships available for $160. A printable reservation form is available online at www.owu.edu/MLK2015.pdf. Reservation forms and payment are requested before Jan. 15. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door. For questions, contact Rosalind Scott, celebration committee chair, at (740) 368-3386 or rdscott@owu.edu.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,750 students represent 46 U.S. states and territories and 43 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.