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IWU to host virtual MLK event on Friday, Jan. 14

Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) will host its ninth annual MLK Celebration honoring Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday, Jan. 14. The community-wide event will honor King’s legacy with scripture and song throughout the evening.

Community members will come together virtually at 7 p.m. for the MLK Celebration event featuring performances by several groups and individuals, including:
• Dr. Todd Williams.
• Destiny Christian Center Worship Team.
• Lisa Taylor-Weaver.
• IWU Gospel Choir.
• Rylee Morris.
• Wesley Seminary Band.

Additionally, attendees will experience the original artwork of J.C. Barnett as he takes everyone through a visual history of Black art. Barnett is an artist based out of Kokomo who seeks to capture famous Black leaders—not just their likeness, but who they were beyond the things they have accomplished. Some of the individuals Barnett has painted include Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X.

The event also will feature remarks from Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, the first African American to serve as federal judge in the history of the state of Indiana. Pratt was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on June 15, 2010. She was nominated for appointment by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the full U.S. Senate by a vote of 95-0. In March 2021, she became Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

“Indiana Wesleyan University’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important aspect of who we are as a community of Christ-followers,” said Dr. Joanne Barnes, professor of leadership studies. “In a time of social injustices and social inaction, it is rewarding for IWU and the communities we serve to come together, reflect on and act positively on Dr. King’s vision of a world where men, women and children can live together in harmony and peace.”

IWU’s annual MLK Celebration began in 2014 as a way to honor King’s legacy.
This year’s MLK Celebration event is a live virtual celebration that will take place as a YouTube premiere. For more information, visit