Through thoughtful words and service to others, Americans are planning to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Be Local means participating in area events that remember this revered civil rights leader who fought for social justice.

Observances begin with Mount Rose Baptist Church, 9 Dr. Martin Luther King Way in Uniontown, which will have its 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. program at 3 p.m. Jan. 19. Keynote speaker will be state Rep. Ed Gainey of Pittsburgh.

Before joining the House of Representatives in 2013, Gainey worked as community development specialist for the city of Pittsburgh, where he implemented several initiatives, such as business seminars, Minority Media Initiative, diversity education for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and The 52 Weeks of Peace Initiative.

A graduate of Morgan State University, Gainey is a board member for Divine Intervention Ministries and PROMISE organizations. He has received several community awards and certificates.

Sylvia Tarpley, committee chair, noted, “This is an important ministry of our church.’’

East End United Community Center will have its annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 20 at Mount Olivet Baptist Church, 57 Stewart Ave. in Uniontown, with the Rev. Vincent Winfrey Sr., pastor, as speaker. Tickets are $12.

Keeley Forrestel, executive director, said, “It’s important we take a lead in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognizing people who have been stewards of service and change in the community.’’

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus will have its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Jan. 20 when students are encouraged to participate in community service despite the official cancellation of classes. Penn State Greater Allegheny will host students from Fayette, Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, DuBois, New Kensington, and Shenango campuses. Participants will contribute to various organizations and projects throughout the region.

Shannon Sankey, Office of Strategic Communications, noted, “We’re very proud of those students who choose to participate in a ‘day on’ to help our neighbors, which embodies the spirit of Penn State – one community, impacting many.’’

Waynesburg University will hold a special convocation to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 11 a.m. Jan. 21 in Roberts Chapel with Dr. Georj Lewis, president of Atlanta Metropolitan State College and a Southwestern Pennsylvania native, as guest speaker. The event is open to the public.

A graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Georgia Southern University, Lewis was named the fourth president of Atlanta Metropolitan State in November after serving as interim president since July.

Lewis began his higher education career in admissions and enrollment, coordinating minority recruitment efforts. He moved into multicultural affairs and led diversity efforts at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Georgia Southern University before transitioning to senior-level administration positions at Georgia Southern, Indiana University Northwest and Armstrong State University.

Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee commented, “It’s our pleasure to welcome Dr. Georj Lewis to our campus in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We look forward to his message on the inspirational life and leadership of Dr. King.”

California University will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual Day of Service on Jan. 28.

From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. volunteers will meet in the Performance Center inside the Natali Student Center to perform service-oriented activities for nonprofit organizations, including Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Mon Valley YMCA, American Cancer Society, Center in the Woods, The Residence at Hilltop and Southwestern Veterans Center.

“All students, faculty and staff are most welcome,” said Amanda Andrews, graduate assistant in the Center for Volunteer Programs and Service Learning. “They can walk in and help at any time for however long they want. Any amount of time given just shows how much Cal U cares about doing our part.”

Inspiration for the day of service was a 2003 visit to Cal U by the late Coretta Scott King, who asked that the day commemorating her husband be observed as “a day on, rather than a day off.”

Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can call 724-425-7515 or email swallach@heraldstandard.com. Discount cards are available at the Herald-Standard, 8 E. Church St., Uniontown, and at the Greene County Messenger, 32 Church St., Waynesburg.

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