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City Invites Public to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 9, 2017

For more information, please contact:

Michael Shermis, Special Projects Coordinator, City of Bloomington Department of Community and Family Resources, 812-349-3471,

Nicole Griffin, Chair, City of Bloomington Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, 812-856-4648

City Invites Public to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Bloomington, Ind. - Mayor John Hamilton invites the community to attend the 2017 City of Bloomington Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration. The event will take place on Monday, January 16th at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., with a reception at 6:00 p.m. featuring light refreshments provided by One World Catering & Events, and the celebration event following at 7:00 p.m.

Rogers Elementary students, as part of their MLK service project, will perform civil rights songs that promote the ideals of Dr. King, in front of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to welcome guests to the celebration.

The event will include remarks by Mayor Hamilton and King Commission members, among others, as well as varied entertainment. The Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble, directed by Dr. Raymond Wise, will sing. The Scribes of Stages Bloomington will perform "The Different Make A Difference," a timely parable written by young writers and actors that addresses the arbitrary nature of bigotry and prejudice while examining possible paths of resistance and change.

The keynote speaker for the celebration will be Adam J. Foss, who will speak on the theme of "And Justice for All." Adam J. Foss is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. As an in-demand speaker on criminal justice reform, Foss asserts that prosecutors need better training to view each case through a lens of cultural competency, integrity, compassion, and concern for the safety of the public, well-being of the victim, and the betterment of the person charged with the crime.

Additionally, volunteers who participated in "A Day ON! Not A Day Off" will be recognized, and the winner of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award will be announced. Attendees also will be offered the opportunity to take the "40 Days of Peace" pledge.

The celebration and reception are both free and open to the public.

Major event underwriters include the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department, Indiana University, Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, WFHB and WFIU. Event sponsors include Lola B. Debro and Family, Griffin Realty, Ivy Tech Community College, Old National Bank and the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Bloomington.

For a list of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service volunteer opportunities and other activities, visit or contact Michael Shermis, City of Bloomington Special Projects Coordinator, at 812-349-3471 or