On Thursday, a Statehouse celebration was held to honor the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 25th Annual King Holiday Celebration was sponsored by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission. African American and civil rights leaders from across Indiana attended, as well as state legislators and the governor.
The Commission awarded four recipients who exemplify the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The awards were as follows: the Freedom Award, Greg Easton; Chairman’s Award, Rev. Adrian M. Brooks, Sr.; Spirit of Justice Award, Regina Shands Stoltzfus; and the Citizen Advocate Award, Kendra Johnson.
The program’s keynote honoree was award winning journalist, Anita Woodley. Governor Pence and Indiana Civil Rights Commission Executive Director, Jamal Smith both addressed the crowd of community leaders and school children.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday. As a strong advocate of civil rights and nonviolence, Martin Luther King, Jr. paved the way for civil rights in America. Indiana honors his work and memory every year during the King Holiday Celebration.
On the night of Dr. King’s death in 1968, Robert Kennedy historically gave a speech in an Indianapolis park. King Memorial Park is now home to The Landmark for Peace sculpture. Kennedy’s speech reminded Hoosiers to remain calm and remember Dr. King’s teachings of wisdom, compassion, and justice. So on Dr. King’s birthday, we remember his ideals of nonviolence, justice, and understanding.