STLCC-Florissant Valley and NCCU Host 2023 Dr. MLK Jr. Celebration
St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice will host their annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Tuesday, Jan. 17.
The celebration’s reception is from 5-6 p.m. in the Terry M. Fischer Theatre, located at 3400 Pershall Road. The program follows from 6-7:30 p.m. and is also available virtually. Masks are welcome and strongly recommended for those who are unvaccinated.
Wesley Bell, prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, Mo., will speak on the celebration’s theme, “It Starts With Me: Cultivating the Beloved Community.”
The first African American to serve in this position for St. Louis County, Mo., Bell was elected in a 2018 landslide and ran a vigorous grassroots campaign to unseat 28-year incumbent Robert McCulloch by a 14-point margin. He was reelected to a second term in November 2022.
Bell has served with distinction across the spectrum of the legal profession as a public defender, defense attorney, judge, professor, and prosecutor.
He is an advocate for ending mass incarceration, eliminating “debtors’ prison practices,” and rebuilding trust between communities and the prosecutor’s office.
Keeping with tradition, north St. Louis County students will lead and participate in the celebration. The celebration’s student emcee is Tylan Mitchell, a sophomore at STLCC-Florissant Valley majoring in general transfer studies. Student speakers include Tekisha Blue, a sophomore at STLCC-Forest Park majoring in culinary arts, and Rachel Sokale, a sophomore at STLCC-Florissant Valley majoring in general transfer studies.
Participants will enjoy a musical performance of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by vocalist Alayna Epps, former student, accompanied by Paul Higdon, DMA, professor of music and pianist, and hear winning speeches from NCCU’s Oratorical Contest.
Guests will also learn more about why the Ferguson-Florissant School District is being honored with the 2023 Dr. Rance Thomas Excellence in Community Partnership Award.
“I am impressed with the Ferguson-Florissant School District, and it goes without saying that Dr. King would be proud of their efforts to provide “Equity and Access for All,” said Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D., chancellor of St. Louis Community College. “They are doing so many things right for their students.”
Last week, 75 Ferguson-Florissant seniors visited the Florissant Valley campus for the Early Graduate Symposium and learned what the College offers as they make decisions about how to further their education or enter the workforce.
“This is just one example of how the district is being intentional about realizing its vision “for all learners to graduate believing that anything is possible and prepared to realize those possibilities,” Pittman added. “The Ferguson-Florissant School District is a valuable partner to STLCC, the Florissant Valley campus and the community. I am pleased to have them as a partner.”
Following Dr. King’s commitment to service, guests are asked to donate to the Archers’ Market, a campus food pantry where STLCC students receive food and hygiene items free of charge.
The Archers’ Market needs shelf-stable snacks/meals (chicken or tuna salad kits, chili, chips, granola bars, gum, juice, ramen cup noodle soup, etc.) and personal care items (antiperspirant/deodorant for men and women, gloves, hand lotion, lip balm, socks, toothbrushes, etc.).
The contingency date for the celebration, should the College close due to inclement weather, is Thursday, Jan. 19, on the same time schedule.