15th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon
Edinboro University President Jeremy D. Brown honored two of Erie’s most recognized community leaders Friday during the University’s 15th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon.
The two honorees were Mother Mary Beth (Betty) Kennedy and Ms. Sonya Arrington.
Kennedy is the co-founder of Erie’s Community of Caring, establishing the organization with her husband, the late Rev. Charles C. Kennedy, to provide food clothing and other basic necessities to those in need. Although headquartered in Erie, the Community of Caring is a global organization providing shelter for the homeless, food for the hungry and medical assistance for the infirmed. Kennedy and her staff have traveled extensively on “Missions of Mercy” to various parts of Africa, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, at times placing the welfare of others above their own personal safety.
Arrington is the mother of 19-year-old Steven Arrington, whose life was prematurely ended when he was shot five times by a teenager as the young Arrington was leaving a convenience store. But rather than emotionally disengaging or becoming bitter, Sonya Arrington propelled herself into community action. In the wake of her horrific loss, Arrington founded Mothers against Teen Violence, an organization designed to strengthen the parent/child bond so that conflicts can be resolved through positive and productive messages and actions. full story