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MLK Celebration

Intelligence Plus Character, That is the Goal of True Education

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice are pleased to host this year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Tuesday, Jan. 19 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Save the Date

For an interpreted and captioned version of the MLK event, visit our Zoom link.

Meeting ID: 821 0579 6383
Passcode: 594553

intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education - mlk

Follow on social with #stlccmlk #stlccfvmlk2021


STLCC student emcee Azariah Estes headshot

Azariah Estes

Student Emcee

"Lift Every Voice and Sing"

by James Weldon Johnson

(also known as “The Black National Anthem”)

Lift every voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise,
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Here now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget, Thee,
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Music accompaniment by

Dr. Paul Higdon, Professor of Music, Pianist headshot

Paul Higdon, DMA,

Professor of Music, Pianist

Student Speakers

Headshot of STLCC Florissant Valley student speaker Aquita Lowe

Aquita Lowe

STLCC-Florissant Valley Student Speaker

Zoe Wallace Headshot

Zoe Wallace

STLCC-Florissant Valley Student Speaker


Introduction of 2021 Dr. Rance Thomas Excellence in Community Partnership Award Recipient: Christian Hospital

dr. elizabeth perkins headshot

Elizabeth Perkins, Ed.D.

STLCC-Florissant Valley President

Chancellor Jeff L. Pittman headshot

Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D.


Accepting the Award

Rick Stevens, portrait

Rick Stevens

Christian Hospital President

Introduction of NCCU’s Oratorical Contest Winners

Rance Thomas, Ph.D., NCCU President

Rance Thomas, Ph.D.

NCCU President

Winners: Grades 9-12

elise connoley headshot

Elise Connoley

Trinity Catholic High School

John Granicke

John Granicke

Trinity Catholic High School

Arden Isbell

Arden Isbell

Trinity Catholic High School

Winners: Adults

Monique Hines-Smith

Monique Hines-Smith

Hazelwood School District

Kolby Sharpe

Kolby Sharpe

Hazelwood School District


Keynote Address

Rudolph Nickens headshot

Rudolph Nickens

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability Partner at Evolution

Rudy Nickens is an executive coach, facilitator, educator, entrepreneur and thought leader with expertise in cultural diversity, business management and community development. For over two decades, he has consulted, educated and trained hundreds of local, national and international organizations in workforce diversity, leadership development, cultural competence and conflict resolution. He specializes in efforts to eliminate the effects of internalized racism and sexism and violence against women.

Prior to joining Evolution, Nickens was the director for equal opportunity and diversity for the Missouri Department of Transportation, which has a budget of over $2.6 billion and more than 6,000 employees. In the wake of the death of Michael Brown, Jr. in 2014, the governor of Missouri asked Nickens to work with the Ferguson Commission whose mission was to conduct a “thorough, wide-ranging and unflinching study of the social and economic conditions that impede progress, equality and safety in the St. Louis region.” 

Nickens also served as executive director of The St. Louis Black Repertory Company and vice president of St. Louis 2004, a civic organization created to act as a catalyst for community development. Beyond his organizational leadership roles, Nickens owned and operated The Sunshine Inn for years, which in addition to having great food, was an institution that provided a place and resources for all kinds of community activity from art to politics to community organizing.

Nickens earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. A Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellow, he received the Ethics Project’s Inaugural Ambassador Andrew Young Award for outstanding leadership and the Robert Bradley Award for distinguished service.


Thanks to the MLK Celebration Planning Committee 

Amy Brown-Marshall

Terrence Freeman, Ph.D.

Keith Fuller

Mike Metroulas

Dwayne Morgan

Elizabeth Perkins, Ed.D.

Lynn Selders

Shantana Stewart

Rance Thomas, Ph.D.

Shanda Walker

Bryant “T” Williamson

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