Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Local MLK Commission awarded $190,000

January 17, 2020
Chair of the Dr. MLK Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan Elaine Hardy speaks before accepting checks from corporate sponsors at the presentation ceremony Jan. 17, 2020 at the Hannah Community Center.
Chair of the Dr. MLK Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan Elaine Hardy speaks before accepting checks from corporate sponsors at the presentation ceremony Jan. 17, 2020 at the Hannah Community Center. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Sponsors awarded $190,000 to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan on Friday.

"The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan works to support equality, diversity and social justice," according to the City of East Lansing website.

The check presentation took place at 10 a.m. at the Hannah Community Center.

“This event reminds us of the continuous movement towards equity. The fight that Martin Luther King, Diane Nash, Whitney Young Jr., Rosa Parks, Bayard Rustin and so many others brought to the forefront of our society.” East Lansing city council member Aaron Stephens said.

Nine local businesses partnered with the commission to provide sponsorships totaling $190,000.

"Cinnaire will present the MLK Commission with a generous $50,000 check during the special presentation. Additionally, MacDonald Broadcasting will present a $50,000 check (in-kind support), LAFCU will present a $20,000 check, Jackson National Life will present a $17,500 check, MSU Federal Credit Union will present a $12,500 check and Delta Dental and Lake Trust Credit Union will each present $10,000 checks," said the City of East Lansing in a press release.

AF Group/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Dean Transportation also provided $10,000 each.

The MLK Commission annually gives scholarships to high school seniors and assists community agencies in securing funding.

"Each year we support graduating high school students through our essay and scholarship contests," MLK Commission Chairperson Elaine Hardy said. "We also provide a cash support and awards to middle school and high school students that participate in essay and art contests."

The MLK Commission also aids community groups and organizations.

"We use the money also to support hunger initiatives and organizations that support youth initiatives and youth education," Hardy said.

The Commission also hosts the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Lansing annually.

This year's celebration will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20 at the Lansing Center.

Civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis was set to speak at this years MLK celebration, but had to cancel due to his current battle with pancreatic cancer.

Hardy said that the competitions and work performed by the Commission help young people learn about Martin Luther King Jr "in a different way than they may learn in school."

Editor's note — This article has been updated to reflect two additional sponsors, AF Group/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Dean Transportation. Each organization donated $10,000.

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