MLK daughter to visit region

2013-01-18T22:02:00Z 2013-02-15T10:40:04Z MLK daughter to visit regionCarmen McCollum, (219) 662-5337

GARY | The daughter of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be in Gary on Feb. 22 and 23 to host a special program, Keeping the Dream Alive Youth Rally 2013 and Beyond — Moving from Rhetoric to Action.

The program is sponsored by Van Buren Baptist Church and Aspire Charter Academy of Gary, along with several other Northwest Indiana organizations.

A reception for the event, hosted by NIPSCO, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville.

Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the Rev. King and the late Coretta Scott King, will be the keynote speaker at the rally at 9 a.m. Feb. 23 at Van Buren Baptist Church, 2585 Van Buren St., Gary.

King also will speak at a brunch, to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Calumet College of St. Joseph. Calumet College President Dan Lowery said local newsman Harry Porterfield will serve as the emcee.

"The primary purpose of this event is to announce a new endowed chair in the sciences that will be named after the late Quentin Smith," Lowery said. Smith is a former Tuskegee airman, a former Calumet College trustee and a former longtime principal at Gary West Side High School. Smith, 94, died Tuesday.

"In many ways, Quentin Smith is referred to as the dean of education in the city of Gary and Northwest Indiana," Lowery said.

In addition, there will be an event at 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at Indiana University Northwest, where guest speaker Shawn K. Woods will focus on youths.

Donald Thompson, publicist and event director for Keeping the Dream Alive 2013 and Beyond, issued a news release saying the program calls on young adults to participate in 21st century strategies for diversity and inclusion.

Thompson said it's not just a celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but also a coming together to continue dreams for generations to come.

During the Dream Symposium, to be held at IU Northwest, participants will develop programs and projects to be implemented during the year. Participants also will convene quarterly to monitor the progress of the proposed programs and projects. Next year, participants from this year's symposium will report on their findings and progress.

"Participants will develop a five-year strategic plan for our youth and our parents to engage in diversity and making our communities a better place to live in," Thompson said this week.

There is no admission fee for the rally. Registration is required to participate in the Dream Symposium. 

For information about registration, visit Anyone who wants more information about all of the activities over the two-day period can contact Thompson at

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