Wilkes University will commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Thurs., Jan. 23 with an event, “A Call for National Unity.” Sponsored by the Center for Global Education and Diversity, it will take place from 11 a.m. to noon in University Center on Main, rooms 126 and 127, 169 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre.
The keynote speaker will be Leon John, Jr., Ph.D., director of alumni engagement at East Stroudsburg University. Born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., John spent his formative years in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with summers and holidays in the United States. He moved to the United States in 1995 to pursue his bachelor’s degree. He went on to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education administration with a concentration in human development from Marywood University. His published dissertation, “Self-Efficacy Among Students of Color at Predominantly White Institutions of Higher Education in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” offers insight into the issues that students of color encounter at colleges and universities in the region.
Wilkes student Shaelyn Briggs will perform the American National Anthem. The Black National Anthem will be performed by Mmachi Dimoriaku. The invocation will be given by Kristin Osipower, interfaith coordinator. Multicultural Student Coalition president Brianna Rowland and interim President Paul S. Adams will also offer greetings. Noella Nkamjeu will read a poem followed by a dance performance by the Wilkes African Cultural Association. Georgia Costalas and Erica Acosta from the Center for Global Education and Diversity will also offer remarks.