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18. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Delaware

Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. [photo by Rowland Scherman, public domain]
Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. [photo by Rowland Scherman, public domain]

Central Ohio has become very well-known around the country for its annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this year on January 18.

Columbus’ celebration annually is considered the largest breakfast – obviously not this year — in the nation and leads to a day of service in the Franklin County community. Delaware’s celebration often is a sell-out in the Benes Rooms at Ohio Wesleyan University on South Sandusky Street.

Unfortunately, in 2021 with the pandemic the Delaware celebration has become a virtual panel that can be accessed anytime after 8:30 a.m. on January 18. A positive to the way 2021 forced the change is that rather than bringing an acclaimed speaker, the committee chose to focus on what is happening in Delaware, Ohio, today with a collection of local speakers.

The Ohio Wesleyan University release on the Delaware-themed event is below.


Delaware’s 2021 MLK Celebration to Feature Virtual Panel Discussion on Advancing Equality

The Delaware County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and Ohio Wesleyan University invite you to learn how to better promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within your area of influence during a virtual panel discussion debuting at 8:30 a.m. EST Jan. 18 on Facebook.

The panel, moderated by Dawn Chisebe, Ohio Wesleyan’s interim chief diversity officer, will feature local experts who will analyze civil rights issues and efforts over the past year and discuss the way forward to improve equality within their areas. The discussion marks the celebration committee’s 28th annual commemoration event.

Participating on the 2021 MLK panel are:

The Rev. Dr. Ruth McCants Locke of Zion AME Church will provide the benediction. The pre-recorded panel discussion will debut on MLK Day on Ohio Wesleyan’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhioWesleyanUniversity and be shared via other social media for information and inspiration any time.

Though the pandemic prevents the celebration committee from hosting its traditional Sunday worship service and Monday community breakfast this year, the group hopes to hold both events again in the future.

The committee also continues to raise funds to support initiatives including the MLK Scholarship, awarded annually to one or more outstanding high school graduates of Delaware City and County schools.

Since 1990, the committee has awarded more than $25,000 in scholarships. Scholarship contributions payable to the MLK Celebration Committee may be mailed to Jennifer Ruhe, Willis Education Center, 74 West William Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015.

Source: Ohio Wesleyan University