Polk State College will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its fourteenth annual MLK Celebration titled, “The Dream, The Vision, The Reality.”
The luncheon will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the Polk State Winter Haven Student Center, 999 Ave. H, N.E. and feature keynote speaker Dr. Alzo J. Reddick, Sr., Director of Defense Transition for the University of Central Florida.
“Dr. Reddick’s passion and belief of what he could and did accomplish beginning at a very early age in and of itself embodies the dream, the vision, and the reality of what Dr. King stood for in his pursuit for equality for all people,” said Valparisa Baker, Director of Polk State’s Office of Equity and Diversity.
Dr. Reddick is a U.S. Army veteran and former member of the Florida House of Representatives. He was the first African American from the Orlando area elected to the House since the Reconstruction Era.
During his time in the House, Dr. Reddick passed two constitutional amendments and authored the legislation for the State of Florida’s Juneteenth Observation – the unofficial date that the slaves heard they were free.
As the Director of Defense Transition, Dr. Reddick coordinates the Soldiers to Scholars Program, which assists U.S. military veterans in obtaining college degrees.
“Throughout his career, Dr. Reddick has been a consistent and deliberate advocate for improving education and economic opportunities for the citizens of his community,” Baker said. “His presentation will leave students, faculty, staff, and community members in attendance with a powerful message about the dream, the vision, and the reality.”
In addition to the keynote speaker, guests will enjoy interpretive dance numbers by Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School students.
Three Polk State students also will be awarded $500 scholarships for essays on service and the Civil Rights Movement that they submitted for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Dream the Dream Scholarship. Excerpts from their essays will be shared during the presentations.
The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please email MLK@polk.edu or call 863.298.6842 by Thursday, Jan. 4.