COMMISSION HOSTS ITS 19TH ANNUAL STATE OF IOWA
(Des Moines) –Governor Chet Culver is scheduled to sign a proclamation and share opening remarks at the 2008 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ceremony hosted by the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans. The event will take place at the Iowa Historical Building on Monday, January 21, 2008.
Governor Culver said, “Dr. King’s legacy represents hope and reminds us that we all play a role in making not only Iowa, but the world, a better place. Dr. King set an example through his words and actions. Lt. Governor Judge and I remain committed to making Iowa a state that embraces diversity, celebrates differences, and is a place where all people can achieve the American dream.”
Other headliners for the event are Leonard Pitts and Daniel Lee Davis. Pitts, a nationally-syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, is the keynote speaker for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ceremony.
Mr. Pitts was originally hired by the Miami Herald to critique music, but within a few years he received his own column in which he dealt extensively with race, politics, and culture. He has won awards for his writing from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and was first nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993, eventually claiming the honor in 2004. He is also the author of the bestselling book Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood.
The other headliner for the event this year is violin virtuoso Daniel Lee Davis, affectionately known as Daniel D. Daniel D is a graduate of the Charleston County School of the Arts where he has held the title of Concert Master. Currently a full-time college freshman, Daniel D continues to perform all over the world. He has received several awards, including a Spoleto 2007 Performing Artist award and a 2007 God Father of Soul Music Award. He has been classically trained in the violin and the guitar. He plays gospel, hip-hop, jazz, contemporary Christian, and R & B music. Other entertainment will be rendered by Bethel AME’s “Gracefully in Motion 4Christ” Praise Dance Team.
This year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will be Ms. Mary Lynon “Lyn” Stinson of Burlington and Ms. Ruth Ann Gaines of Des Moines. The commission is also pleased this year to announce its new Status of African Americans Pinnacle Award given to the citizen whose civic and political work demonstrates a commitment to improving the quality of life for African Americans in the state of Iowa. The 2008 Pinnacle Award recipient will be Representative Wayne Ford of House District 65 in Polk County.
All persons are invited to attend this event. There is no cost to attend. To receive more information regarding the event, or if you need special accommodations, please contact: Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319, at (515) 281-7283 or toll-free (800) 351-4659.