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Westmoreland

Unity, Greensburg events mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jeff Himler
| Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, 1:48 p.m.
Aliethia McLeod of Mandebille, Jamaica, a St. Vincent College junior biology major, signs the 'Dream' message board during an informational Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on Jan. 21, 2013.
Eric Schmadel  |  Tribune-Review
Aliethia McLeod of Mandebille, Jamaica, a St. Vincent College junior biology major, signs the 'Dream' message board during an informational Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on Jan. 21, 2013. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

Slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. inspired many with his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

That includes members of the Visionaries of H.O.P.E. (Helping One People Evolve) group and the Office of Multicultural Student Life at Saint Vincent College. They've kicked off the Unity college's annual observances honoring King by creating a Dream Center from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday in the lounge of the Robert S. Carey Student Center.

The center, which was open to the public, included an opportunity to discuss relevant topics and to participate in arts and crafts. In past years, the Dream Center has included historic images of King and a poster that visitors could sign with personal dreams.

A memorial Mass is set for 4:15 p.m. Monday in the Mary, Mother of Wisdom Student Chapel of the Carey Student Center.

Related events at Saint Vincent include a day of service Saturday that will offer students, staff and others who are interested a chance to take part in community service project in the Latrobe area. Those who want to participate should contact Jessica Parsons at 724-805-2288.

Tickets are required for a dinner at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 23 in the college's Fred M. Rogers Center. That event will include a concert by the Saint Vincent Camerata and by the Essence of Joy Choir, which is directed by the guest speaker — Dr. Anthony Leach, music professor at Penn State University.

Email MLKDay@stvincent.edu to make reservations.

Also Monday, the Greensburg-Jeannette NAACP chapter is hosting a program by the Underground Railroad Group of Blairsville, set for 7 p.m. at the Greater Parkview Church, 103 Westminster Ave., Greensburg.

The program focuses on 19th century abolitionist activities in Blairsville and Indiana County. It is presented by two group members in period attire — Seth Gibson, portraying Lewis Johnston, the son of a free black man and an enslaved woman who was a coal miner and a local stationmaster on the underground railroad; and Denise Jennings Doyle, as Mrs. John Graff, wife of a noted abolitionist and stationmaster.

A state historical marker recognizes an 1858 event in Blairsville when townspeople rescued Richard Newman from bounty hunters who attempted to seize him as a fugitive slave.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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