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Martin Luther King programs set in Parkersburg, Marietta

Cynthia Brown, organizer of Zion Baptist Church’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day service, speaks at last year’s program in Parkersburg. This year’s event will be held 3 p.m. Sunday at the church at Eighth and Clay streets. (File Photo)

PARKERSBURG — Several programs and services honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in connection with the holiday in his honor will be held in the coming week.

* Zion Baptist Church will honor the late King at 3 p.m. Sunday at the church at the corner of Eighth and Clay streets in Parkersburg.

The guest speaker will be Eric M. Ellis, MA, president and CEO of Integrity Development Corp. and author of “Diversity Conversations Finding Common Ground.” Other guests are scheduled to include West Virginia University at Parkersburg President Chris Gilmer, Mayor Tom Joyce and others.

Integrity Development Corp. is a firm that helps to build organizational cultures where diversity, inclusion and respect flourish, which drives sustainable, improved business results.

Ellis is recognized as one of the nation’s leading consultant and strategist on matters related to diversity and inclusion.

He was recognized as the Minority Business of the Year for Ohio in 2015 and received the 2016 NAACP President’s award, in addition to many other leadership and business awards.

Since 1991, Integrity Development has served major corporations, law enforcement agencies, and educational institutions by providing customized solutions that enable clients to gain the most from their talent and meet the demands of the global marketplace.

* The Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg will be open on MLK Day for club members from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday. Membership requires a one page application, proof of age, and $20 annual fee.

With the theme “The Power of Words & Action,” several activities are planned.

* 10:30 a.m.: “Power of Words and Actions” kickoff. Every club member is challenged to set a goal for how their words or actions will have a positive impact on themselves and others over the next two months. A follow-up event will be held during national Boys and Girls Club Week. Presentation on peaceful conflict resolution and building positive community connections.

* 11 a.m. to noon: “Words” Art project illustrating quotes King.

* Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Lunch provided

* 1-3 p.m.: “Actions: What are you doing for others?; “Stations” (service projects to benefit Humane Society, Gabriel Project and the club); History Obstacle Course: combining information regarding civil rights movement

Keystone Club (14-18 year old) and Torch Club (11-13 year olds) are club-based groups of 12 members focused on leadership development and community service.

* In Marietta, Marietta College will be closed Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. While classes will be closed, students and employees are encouraged to participate in one of the service activities organized through the Office of Student Life. The programs will be on-campus and in the community.

Among the projects will be GoPacks, a community-based organization that provides local elementary school children with nutritious food options for weekends and school breaks; packing critical needs kits; creating seed packets; and working with a variety of local organizations including the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley, the Boys and Girls Club, Betsey Mills Club and othesr. The afternoon will feature a variety of workshops and speakers.

* In Parkersburg, West Virginia University at Parkersburg will celebrate the legacy of King with a historical lecture at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday on the cafeteria stage. Dr. Robert Anderson will present and President Chris Gilmer will also be speaking.

Wayne Towner can be contacted at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com

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