Commission to celebrate King's birthday

On Jan. 18 from 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Connecticut Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission will hold the official state ceremony to commemorate the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As in years past, the governor, legislators and all constitutional officers have been in attendance at this annual event honoring King. This year the commission will host a reception for legislators and dignitaries in the Old Judiciary Room at the Capitol at 10 a.m. the morning of the ceremony.  The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission’s Chairperson, Dennis J. King of Waterbury, will preside over Connecticut’s annual tribute at the Capitol.


“The commission is pleased to honor Coach Randy Edsall with the Leadership Award for the his leadership and the compassion displayed during very trying and difficult times, not only for the team, but the entire UCONN family. The Commission is also honoring My Sisters’ Place, which is committed to ending homelessness and empowering women, families, and others in Greater Hartford to achieve independence and stability in their communities by providing housing and supportive services, with the Community Service Award. In addition, the Humanitarian Award is being presented to Dr. James Lewis III of Hamden. “Dr. Lewis’ research at the Yale School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Howard University, Johns Hopkins Hospital Yale Child Study Center, and the National Center on Children Exposed to Violence along with his many publications, have been an international model for law enforcement, educators, and child welfare agencies.”, said King.

Former recipient of the State of Connecticut Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission leadership award, Bishop Dr. Theodore L. Brooks Sr. of the Beulah Heights Pentecostal Church, New Haven will be the guest speaker for the event.

The ceremony will open with a Flag Ceremony by the Connecticut Valley Girl Scouts with the invocation being offered by the Reverend Bradford Howard Jr.  The acclaimed Beulah Heights Praise Choir of New Haven and Hopewell Baptist Concert Choir of Hartford will present gospel musical selections. The celebration is free to the public and will include a variety of presentations and the ringing of the state’s replica of the Liberty Bell.

A benediction offered by Rev. King T. Hayes of Shiloh Baptist Church in Hartford will conclude the ceremonies. Children of the Sun World Drum/Percussion and Music Ensemble for Greater New Haven will perform after the ceremony. During this national holiday celebration, governors of states across the nation simultaneously ring replicas of the Liberty Bell in honor of Dr. King’s birthday and in honor of the twenty-fourth anniversary, bells will be rung across the state of Connecticut at precisely 12:00 p.m.

Seating for the ceremony is limited. The Capitol Building is wheelchair accessible through the west entrance.


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