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Award-winning Journalist, Yamiche Alcindor, Announced as Keynote Speaker for Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

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Yamiche Alcindor, award-winning journalist and White House correspondent for PBS Newshour, will give the keynote address during West Michigan's commemoration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Award-winning Journalist, Yamiche Alcindor, Announced as Keynote Speaker for Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

By Sean Chase

On Jan. 18, Grand Rapids Community College, in partnership with Grand Valley State University and Davenport University, will hold the 35th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

This year’s celebration will be hosted by GVSU, virtually due to COVID-19, and is highlighted by the announcement of keynote speaker, Yamiche Alcindor.

Alcindor is an accomplished journalist who graduated from Georgetown University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in government and English. She also attended New York University, where she graduated with a master’s degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking.

Currently, Alcindor is a White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, a job she began in early 2018. Prior to her work at PBS NewsHour, Alcindor became known for her extensive work as a breaking news reporter for USA Today. During her time working for the publication, she was named “Emerging Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013. She then went on to cover politics for the New York Times, where she reported on the political campaigns of Senator Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump, as well as the social injustices in our society, such as the effect of police brutality on underserved communities.

GRCC began celebrating MLK day in 1986, three years after President Ronald Reagan signed a bill recognizing the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 15, as a federal holiday. Since then, the college has constantly strived to honor the legacy of King through reflection and action.

After partnering with GVSU and Davenport University, the annual celebration became a two-day event that encompassed the campuses of the three schools. Every year the event welcomes speakers, faculty, and students to come together to discuss the works of King Jr., current Civil Rights issues, and encouraging acts of public service.

Being a part of this celebration isn’t the only way that GRCC gives back to the community in honor of Dr. King. The college created the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Inherit the Dream Scholarship, which to date has given out more than 60 scholarships to students of the Kent Intermediate School District. Besides graduating with a GPA of 2.0 from a Kent ISD school, to receive the scholarship a student must be actively involved in public service and supporting diversity and inclusion, as well as submitting an application and essay online to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

This year’s celebration is free to attend and starts at 6:30 p.m. with the keynote speech taking place at 7 p.m. If you want to be involved you must register before Jan. 17 through the GVSU website.

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