Iowa Department of Human Rights to Host MLK Celebration

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The State of Iowa Department of Human Rights’ Office and Commission on the Status of African-Americans will host its annual celebration honoring the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 20, 2020.


Monday’s presentation will include a living history program, “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice”, presented by Joseph McGill, Jr., founder of the Slave Dwelling Project and a former member of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans. The Slave Dwelling Project organizes overnight stays in extant slave dwellings to promote preservation of the dwellings and education about slavery and the contributions of African-Americans.

Achievement Awards

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award will be presented to five individuals who have demonstrated commitment to the vision of Reverend Dr. King by promoting the racial equality of all people in Iowa through service, diversity, cultural awareness, and active community participation. The honorees are:

Lisa D. Covington, Program Coordinator of Beloved Community Initiative, Iowa City
Tiffany Johnson, Producing Artistic Director of Pyramid Theatre Company,
Des Moines
Lieutenant Lillie M. Miller, Des Moines Police Department
Kimberly Wayne, Ed.D, Founder and Director of Jewels Academy, Des Moines
Susie Weinacht, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Cedar Rapids
Youth Award

A youth multi-media contest was held on the question: How would you demonstrate or promote courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service in your school or community following Dr. King’s principle of non-violence? The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. youth contest award will be presented to seventh grade winner, Marqaries Neighbors of Des Moines.


Musical performances will be provided by Courageous Fire and Reverend Derek Covington.

Event Information
What: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

When: Monday, January 20, 2020

Time: 10:45 AM

Where: Franklin Junior High School Auditorium
4801 Franklin Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310

The event is free and open to the public. There is no need to register.