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UPDATED: UT president, Toledo mayor: Attend MLK Unity Celebration to honor civil rights leader

The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will host a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 9:30 a.m. in Libbey Hall to invite community members throughout northwest Ohio to the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration.

The 18th annual Unity Celebration, which is free and open to the public, will take place Monday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon in Savage Arena on the UT Main Campus. A free community luncheon will follow the ceremony.

“It’s never been more important to come together as a community toward building a better future,” Gaber said. “As the city of Toledo’s university, we view service as a critical part of the college experience, and UT is proud to partner with the entire region in celebrating Dr. King’s legacy.”

“At a time when our nation seems as divided as it has ever been, I encourage all Toledoans to join in the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., whose life’s work was dedicated to bringing people together and finding common ground,” Kapszukiewicz said.

Kristian Brown, anchor for WTVG 13 ABC, will emcee the Unity Celebration. The program will feature re-enactments, songs and performances by the Scott High School Marching Band, UT Gospel Choir, UT FIRE Squad and TRIBE dance teams, as well as students from Toledo School for the Arts and other individual artists.

Recipients of the MLK Scholarship and African-American Leadership Council of United Way Scholarship Awards also will be recognized.

The Unity Celebration is organized by a committee co-chaired by Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion, and Angela Lucas, executive assistant to the mayor.

The 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration is made possible by support from ProMedica, Paramount Advantage, Balance Pan-Asian Grille, Smoot Construction, Crestline Paving & Excavating, Peak Electric Inc., the Taylor Automotive Family, Fifth Third Bank, the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, Kokosing Construction Co. Inc., Mercy Health, Destination Toledo, the Toledo Branch of the NAACP, United Auto Workers Community Action Program Council, United Way of Toledo, Buckeye Broadband, Buckeye Community Arts Network, Area Office on Aging of Northwest Ohio Inc., Lady Irish Basketball, and Zeta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.