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Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

Contact: Brad Duncan

\Photo of Ronald V. Dellums
Ronald V. Dellums

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The celebration gets under way at 7:30 a.m. with the 10th annual Unity Breakfast, sponsored by the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter Education Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. The annual Freedom March will begin at 10 a.m. from the Lexington Center. The holiday program, co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, will follow at 11 a.m. in Heritage Hall. Churches and businesses help support the annual event.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 23, 2003) -- Ronald V. Dellums, president of international health care consulting firm Dellums, Bauer and Halterman, will be the keynote speaker at the 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Day program Monday, Jan. 19, at Heritage Hall in downtown Lexington.

"We have all learned from our history books that Martin Luther King Jr. stood for peace but it goes much deeper than that," said Lisa Higgins-Hord, chair, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Planning Committee. "There are so many lessons that this one individual has taught us. He was capable of stirring the soul and sparking the conscience of a generation yearning for a significant change in our society. His devotion gave direction to 13 years of civil rights activities. He embraced the unity of all faiths in love and truth and inspired nonviolent liberation movements around the world. We will continue the legacy of having an inspiring message this year."

The celebration gets under way at 7:30 a.m. with the 10th annual Unity Breakfast, sponsored by the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter Education Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. The annual Freedom March will begin at 10 a.m. from the Lexington Center. The holiday program, co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, will follow at 11 a.m. in Heritage Hall. Churches and businesses help support the annual event.

Dellums, who served nearly three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, was the first African American elected from a white majority congressional district when he took office in 1970 representing Oakland, Calif. He held many leadership roles in Congress, including chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, chairman of the House District of Columbia Committee, and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

After Dellums' work for peace and disarmament, he published his first book, "Defense Sense: The Search for a Rational Military," in 1983. He then chronicled his experience in Congress in his second book, "Lying Down With the Lions: A Public Life From the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power."

Since his retirement from Congress, Dellums has turned his attention to health issues affecting the world, namely AIDS. His initiative, the AIDS Marshall Plan, calls for a global collaboration between public and private sectors. He has been appointed chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and serves as a member of the Board for AIDS Action.

The breakfast event is scheduled from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the New Grand Ballroom of the Lexington Center. Tickets for the breakfast are $15 per person. Reserved tables of 10 may be purchased for $150 each. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (859) 263-8819.

The MLK Holiday Committee also is looking for volunteers to help during the march and program. If you are interested, contact Terry Allen at (859) 257-8927 or tallen@uky.edu, or Mildred Bailey at (859) 257-4098 or mildred@uky.edu. If special accommodations are needed by attendees of the march or program, contact Allen.


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