Civil Rights and MLK Commissions to honor Dr. King and unveil two historic busts

Indianapolis - The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission announced today plans for the State of Indiana’s 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Celebration on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at the Indiana Statehouse. Included in this year’s program are the presentation of four awards and the unveiling of two historic busts.

“We are excited to honor Hoosiers who have continued the dream of Dr. King through their work in making Indiana such a great place to live,” said Jamal L. Smith, Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.” We are especially honored to unveil busts for two influential African Americans who have left a lasting imprint on the Hoosier state.”

James Sidney Hinton, Indiana’s first African American to serve in the Statehouse, along with Julia Carson, Indiana’s first African American and first woman from Indianapolis elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, will each be memorialized with a bronze bust in the Statehouse.

The program will also include the presentation of the ICRC’s highest honor, the Spirit of Justice Award, to Jerry Harkness. Harkness was a collegiate and professional basketball star best known for winning the 1963 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship with Loyola University Chicago. His handshake with Mississippi State basketball players prior to their NCAA tournament game is considered a crucial turning point in the fight for equality in college basketball. Harkness also serves as a director of the Indianapolis Chapter of 100 Black Men and was honored recently by President Barack Obama.

The program, which is open to the public for no charge, begins at 12:30 pm and is expected to bring together more than 500 students, state employees, local and state government officials, human rights agencies and Indiana residents from across the state to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Other highlights of the program include:

  • Remarks by Governor Mike Pence
  • The presentation of four awards
  • The recognition of the seven schools and the more than 300 students who participated in the MLK Educational Youth Summit at the Indiana State Museum in the morning
  • A musical performance by the Golden Singers of Broad Ripple Magnet High School

Click here for more information, and to reserve your seat at the program!!

Click here to view the program flyer.