Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission, HHOMA to host virtual Ecumenical Service on Jan. 17

CHARLESTON — The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) and Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission will host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Service virtually on Monday, Jan. 17. The public can tune in through HHOMA’s Facebook page or YouTube channel at 9:30 a.m., or on WV Public Broadcasting’s West Virginia Channel at 7 p.m.

The King Center in Atlanta set the 2022 King Holiday theme as “It Starts With Me: Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community.” This theme will be showcased throughout the 2022 service.

A program for the virtual Ecumenical Service can be viewed online here.

This year’s commemoration features keynote speaker Dr. Elizabeth A. Dooley, a native of Fairmont, WV. Dooley has over 32 years of experience in higher education and has served in executive leadership positions at West Virginia University. She is currently a professor in the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and was the first woman and African-American to be named provost and vice president for academic affairs at UCF.

The Ecumenical Service will also include a segment honoring the 2021 Living the Dream Award recipients. These awards are given to individuals who exemplify, through action or personal traits, the principles and ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. in his pursuit of social change. 

“Each year, we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an Ecumenical Service, while also celebrating individuals who live up to his legacy,” said HHOMA Executive Director and Commission Chair Jill Upson. “It is an honor to have Dr. Elizabeth Dooley join us as the keynote speaker and we are thrilled to announce those receiving well-deserved Living the Dream Awards.”

The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission will recognize the following recipients during the virtual service on Jan. 17:

  • Service Organization Honor Roll: The Greenbrier Historical Society
  • Scholarship Award: Myrna B. Geiger
  • Sharing of Self Award: Kenyatta Coleman Grant
  • The Governor’s Living the Dream Award: Reverend James Patterson

The Governor’s Living the Dream Award is the highest honor that is presented to an individual by the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission.

“We invite everyone to join us online on January 17th and hear from each incredible person participating in this year’s service,” said Upson.

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