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Martin Luther King Jr.
February 16, 2018 : Community comes together to celebrate life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
Ohio University Southern’s 26th Annual Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. was held on Jan. 25 in Bowman Auditorium. The theme, “I Am,” centered around communicating personal experiences to overcome prejudices.
Speaker Amy Compton, Vice President of Amy for Africa, a faith-based program that provides aid to in-need communities in Uganda, credits her faith for her many accomplishments. Compton stated, “We all struggle. We all have pain.” She stressed the importance of communication in understanding that we all share similarities.
Margret Tyson, the pastor of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Ironton, recounted the discrimination she faced growing up and the positive influence of her family. She invited attendees to “move beyond labels and move into love.”
Combined choirs of Ashland Paul G. Blazer High School and Ironton High School

Combined choirs of Ashland Paul G. Blazer High School and Ironton High School, who became I AM...One Choir, for the 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration.

Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas Judge Andrew Ballard shared a heartfelt presentation with his “I Am” story. He said this event was humbling. “This is the most important speech I’ve made before or since getting into public office. This is near to my heart because I’m raising my children this way,” Ballard said.
The theme for this year’s essay contest was also “I Am.”  Associate Professor Dr. Hayley Haugen presented the winners. Middle school winners, Abbey Taylor, Amelia Webster and Alexis Lawson attend Ironton Middle School.  High school winners, Samantha Caskey, Eric Daniels and Ryan Goodson attend South Point High School.


Ironton City Mayor, Katrina Keith, delivered powerful closing remarks. She posed a challenge to the young people in the audience by stating, “I challenge young people - what do you believe in, what will you fight for?” Keith urged this generation to “understand each other.”