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Clarion Community Shares MLK’s Message of Peace, Unity, and Service

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 @ 09:01 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

IMG_2003CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The 9th annual Martin Luther King Community Breakfast was held on Monday, January 18, during a Zoom webinar. With this year’s theme: “What You Do for Others,” Rev. King’s message of “peace, unity, and service” was highlighted.

(Photo: Front, left to right: Amy Campbell and Shay Cyphert, members of Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry Board of Directors. Back, left to right: MLK Breakfast Committee members Dr. Sonia Hur, Marcy Schlueter, Karena Stephens, all of Clarion University; Judie Wohnseidler, of ServPro; and Kelly Ryan and Tina Horner, both of Clarion University.)

“Although we weren’t able to gather in person because of the COVID pandemic, it was important to continue the work of Dr. King and continue his message of equal rights for all,” said Amy Salsgiver, director of social equity at Clarion University.

The keynote speaker at the event was Alicia Shropshire, a 2004 graduate of Clarion University who is celebrating her ninth year as a professional artist in Pittsburgh and the tri-state area. As an entertainer, writer, instructor, promoter, and producer, Shropshire has networked meaningful and rewarding relationships that stretch across the ocean from Coney Island sword swallowers to internationally ranked burlesque kings and queens.

“It meant the world to have this opportunity in remembrance of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I feel blessed and humbled to have a part in my hometown to honor my father, my mother, and the work we all have done and continue today,” Shropshire said.

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“May we all go forward together as a community and a great nation in doing the work, digging in, healing, accepting accountability, and growing in grace at the dawn of a new era for America to prove she’s truly and intentionally as good as her word for all and forever more. God bless!”

Shropshire is the daughter of Jamie and the late John Shropshire, former Clarion University dean of admissions and Clarion County Commissioner.

In addition to Shropshire’s keynote address, the webinar also included remarks from Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, president of Clarion University, and Rogers Laugand, director of multicultural affairs and diversity education at Clarion University. Student Jada Smith, a senior psychology major, also provided a special message, and Jake Jacobson, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, led the opening and closing prayers.

Following the webinar, The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast Committee hosted a food drive at Veteran’s Memorial Park gazebo from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“The food drive is an important component of the breakfast, and, because the need is especially vital this year, we wanted to provide an opportunity for the members of the generous Clarion community to help people in need.”

Approximately 30 people brought food donations and enjoyed donuts contributed from Clark’s Donuts, Smiley cookies from Eat’n Park, and cocoa from Clarion Chamber of Business and Industry. The donations will be given to Clarion Community Action.

The MLK Breakfast Committee includes members from Clarion University and the Clarion community.

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