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January 2017

Thornton Township honors Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy at annual event

SOUTH HOLLAND, IL– With voices soaring, dancers stomping and heartful words of togetherness flowing, the message of unity rose though at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

The Thornton Township Human Relations Commission, South Suburban College and Thornton Township High School District 205 presented an event Titled Love and Unity Conquers Hatred and Violence. Held at South Suburban College, the free program not only commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. King but features speeches about coming together as a community.

“We are here to honor a man who dedicated his life fighting for the civil rights of others. We are here in this room as a community to stand together and say we are not going to let anything or anyone tear us apart,” said Frank M. Zuccarelli, Thornton Township supervisor and South Suburban College board president. “That’s why our message of love and unity is so important. Love and unity conquers hate speech and hostility.  Love and unity overpowers division and anger.”

Congresswoman Robin Kelly was the featured guest speaker. The event also featured many singing, dancing, and instrumental performances from District #205 students. Don Manning, president of South Suburban College, was impressed with the talent, strength and profound words coming from the students.

“When I look at everything these students can accomplish, I am really optimistic about the future,” said Manning. “These young people are going to be our future leaders.”

Zuccarelli closed the event calling for people to come together and unite instead of tearing each other apart.

“If we are truly going to be great, we can’t be our worst enemies,” added Zuccarelli. “We can’t unite with only people who agree with us. We can’t just shut down conversation. We can’t use violence as the way to get our points across. And we can never use hatred for anyone to justify our actions.”

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100 Black Men Event

Thornton Township officials recent attended the 20th anniversary of the 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc., which provide positive role models for African-American males throughout the Greater Chicago area by pairing them with successful African-American professionals committed to the intellectual development of youth and the economic empowerment of the African-American community based on the following principles: Respect for Family, Spirituality, Justice and Integrity.

“Thornton Township supports such a worthwhile cause. We believe in the importance of educating our students and teaching them leadership and other valuable skills,” said Frank M. Zuccarelli, Thornton Township Supervisor
The 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. is committed to the growth and development of America’s youth, “Creating Opportunities and Changing Lives.” Their commitment is reflected through the five academy site locations providing onsite mentoring, STEM initiatives, health and wellness education, and economic development programs. Their motto is “Real Men, Giving Real Time.” and the objective is to be the premier volunteer mentoring organization for African-American youth throughout the Greater Chicago Area.

Since its inception in November 1994, the organization has mentored thousands of elementary and high school students to prepare for life’s challenges. Yearly, up to 200 colleges and universities engage with nearly 5,000 students and adults.. To date thousands of students have been offered over $50 million in scholarship support into a college or university.

Thornton Township presents a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

SOUTH HOLLAND– It has been nearly 50 years since Martin Luther Jr died, but his commitment to civil rights continues.

The Thornton Township Human Relations Commission, South Suburban College and Thornton Township High School District 205 present a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16 at South Suburban College.

Titled Love and Unity Conquers Hatred and Violence, the free event not only commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. King but features speeches about coming together as a community.

“People should attend the MLK Celebration because it is the day that we recognize and honor one of the most dynamic African-American figures in American history,” said Loretta Wells, chair for the event and a member of the Thornton Township Human Relations Commission. “It is a day that we teach our youth about the contribution Dr. King made and his struggle for equality.

We should all remember that this is not a “Day Off” but a “Day On.”

The annual event takes place at the Kindig Performing Arts Center at South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street.

“Dr. King said ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” said Frank M. Zuccarelli, Thornton Township supervisor and South Suburban College board chairman. “We have to trust each other, love each other and work together.”

The celebration features Keynote Speaker Congresswoman Robin Kelly and performances by students from District #205, including singers and steppers.

“The Annual MLK celebration is necessary because it is an important reminder of Dr. King’s life, dream, legacy, and the contribution of those that helped make his vision a reality,” added Wells. “This year’s theme “Love & Unity Conquers Hatred & Violence” was chosen because we want to remind everyone, especially our youth that Dr. King was able to overcome hatred by preaching love and unity.  We must strive in today’s society to return to that basic message.”

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