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MLK Observance Set for Jan. 18: March & Virtual Program

The McDonough County Branch of the NAACP, along with the Western Illinois University Black Student Association (BSA), WIU Chapter of NAACP, WIU’s Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ in Macomb, will host an MLK Remembrance Day Monday, Jan. 18.

McDonough County Branch of the NAACP and Mt. Calvary will host the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March beginning with a march beginning at 9:30 a.m. Individuals interested in participating should meet meet at 9:15 a.m. in the parking lot on the east side of Macomb’s Courthouse Square.

Following the march, a virtual program, featuring keynote speaker Teresa Haley, president of the Illinois NAACP State Conference, will begin at 11 a.m. The program will be livestreamed on WIU’s Facebook page and YouTube channel .

Haley will present, “The Role of Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Past, Present & Future,” focusing on the Black women behind the Civil Rights and activist movements. Other speakers include a welcome from WIU President Guiyou Huang, a prayer from Associate Pastor, Mt. Calvary Church of Christ Allen Henderson, greetings from Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, and remarks from WIU Chapter of NAACP President Destiny Williams, BSA President Shakyria Bailey, Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter President Kyle Williams and McDonough County Branch NAACP President Byron Oden-Shabazz.

“We are so pleased to have Madame President Teresa Haley join us on this special and important day to commemorate the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” McDonough Shabazz said. “Her keynote address will focus on the critical roles that Black women have played in the Civil Rights movement – from Rosa Parks to Stacey Abrams – we owe a debt of gratitude to Black women around the globe who have made it their life’s mission to fight for equality and social justice.”

Haley is a longtime Civil Rights activist and public policy advocate. In October 2019, Haley, the first female president of the Illinois NAACP State Conference, began her third term as president and is serving her fifth consecutive term as president of the Springfield (IL) Branch NAACP. Last year, she received the first-ever NAACP Activist of the Year Award and the Community Service Award from the Frontier International Club for her outstanding work in the community and throughout the State of Illinois. In November 2018, Haley was appointed to the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative Transition Committee under Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and it was also during that year that she planned and organized several activities to commemorate the 110th year of the 1908 Race Riot that led to the start of the NAACP.

A Springfield native, Haley received her master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

She has been recognized with numerous awards over the years, including the NAACP 2018 Webster Plaque Award, 2017 Outstanding Commitment to Community Service Award, State Treasurer, 2017 Wyvetter H. Younge Award for Outstanding Community Service, 2016 Benjamin L. Hooks Award at the 107th National Convention, to name a few.

***Report Courtesy of Western Illinois University***

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