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Edinboro University to honor two community leaders during Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon


Edinboro University and President Julie E. Wollman will honor two community leaders for their lifetimes of serving others during Edinboro’s 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon on Friday, February 8.

Jacqueline Brown is being recognized for her service and contributions as the Deputy Chief of the Erie Police Support Service Division, and Bishop Stanley K. Smith, Pastor of  Meadville’s St. John Missionary Full Gospel Church and State Bishop of Pennsylvania of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, will be honored for his nearly two decades of exemplary community service.

Brown was selected by the University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon  Committee because she dedicated herself to making a difference in the lives of youth and adults. A distinguished woman making history in the City of Erie, Brown accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Police of the Support Services Division of the Erie Bureau of Police in 2001. As an esteemed officer, she supervised police officers in three major detective divisions.

She is known as a present-day “Drum Major” because of her many major contributions advancing justice, and for having demonstrated throughout her career what it takes to improve and empower youth and adults alike by providing mentoring, education and training.

Her initiative and leadership reached out to minorities – men and women – who sought employment opportunities at all levels in the police department and correctional facilities, improving hiring practices at both that continue to this day.

Bishop Smith, who was born in Erie, was selected for the annual King Award because he has dedicated himself to improving the lives of countless others through his initiation of community outreach in myriad ways in Meadville and beyond. His contagious personality and innovative approach are known not only locally, but throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Serving the Meadville community and surrounding counties for nearly two decades, his vision, ministry and guidance initiated local efforts toward Breast Cancer Awareness education and other efforts to address health-related issues.

Among his many initiatives, Bishop  Smith established an annual 5K Run/Walk to benefit those with breast cancer, scholarship awards to encourage women in the “non-traditional” student category to pursue higher education, and the El Shaddai Clothing Outreach Ministry to aid women, infants and children in need.
The award recipients were chosen by Edinboro’s King Awards Luncheon Committee for recognition by the University for their unwavering dedication to social equality, peaceful community activism and education, exemplifying the ideals of the late civil rights leader, King, and for personifying his dream.

The luncheon will be held February 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Edinboro’s Van Houten South Dining Hall.

The University’s intent  in hosting the luncheon and presenting community awards during Black History Month is to help carry on King’s legacy by recognizing and honoring individuals such as Brown and Smith  for keeping King’s “dreams” alive.

As in past annual King lunches at Edinboro University, the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Kahan Sablo, Vice President for Student Affairs, will help preside over additional award presentations to Edinboro students who have been declared winners in the annual Expressions of Remembrance Contest.

In addition to musical selections from the United Voices of Edinboro, the reading of one of Dr. King’s speeches, essays, or sermons has become a cherished part of this annual celebration. This year’s reading was delivered by Dr. King April 10, 1957, during the St. Louis Freedom Rally in Missouri and has come to be known as his “A Realistic Look at the Question of Progress in the Area of Race Relations” speech.

Past Edinboro University Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award recipients include: Pearl Jeffries, Gregory Myers, Harold C. Shields, Mother Mary Beth Kennedy, Sonya Arrington, Howard Horton, Cathy Hutchinson, Judge  Stephanie Domitrovich, Homer Smith, John Horan, The Rev. John Foster, Mary Alice Brown, Bruce Morton Wright, The Rev. Dr. Eugene Schoolfield, Bishop Dwane Brock, Mildred Horton, Erie County Judge George Levin, Francine G. McNairy, Bishop Jesse Gavin, Elmore “Cootie” Harris, James Drane, Charles Faulkerson, Rubye Jenkins-Husband, Dorothy Smith-Frazier, Esther Bush,  Gary Horton, The Rev. Herlies Murphy, The Rev. Jesse McFarland, The Rev. Acquanetta Osborne, Melvin Witherspoon, Gertrude Barber, Bishop William Clark, R. Benjamin Wiley, Reuben Butler, Celestine Bell Davis, Vincent Jenco, Larry Meredith, Fred Williams, The Rev. Charles Mock, Umeme Sababu, Susan Wellman, Eron DeLeon Soto, Ronald Steele, and Bobby Harrison.

The annual luncheon was created in 1997 to celebrate King’s legacy and to honor northwestern Pennsylvania citizens who embody King’s spirit, philosophy, and teachings.
(Note to news directors and assigning editors: Coverage is encouraged; photo and interview opportunities will be available prior to the event at a reception for previous award winners, and immediately preceding and following the luncheon. Photo and video opportunities will be available throughout the luncheon.)