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Inclusivity was the theme at the 14th-annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration, held Jan. 20 at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

The dinner and program focused on the birth, life and legacy of King as well as the strides Oshkosh has made in welcoming diversity in its many forms. Ann Dolan-Freid, an advocate for all children, especially those who are differently abled, was honored with the One Oshkosh Celebration of Diversity Award.

Muriel Hawkins, former assistant vice chancellor for academic support and diversity at UW Oshkosh, was surprised with a special award recognizing her many contributions as a volunteer in the community and member of numerous University committees. Mayor Frank Tower named Jan. 21 Muriel Hawkins Day in Oshkosh.

The program also featured two UW-Madison professors, who briefly spoke on King’s words and race relations today before opening up the floor to comments from community members. Carl Grant, a professor in UW-Madison’s School of Education, specializes in multicultural education. Michael Thornton, a professor in the UW-Madison Department of Afro-American Studies, studies who and why people cross racial and cultural boundaries.

Other program highlights included excerpts and awards for Oshkosh Area School District essay contest winners; “I Have a Dream,” a song composed and sung by an Oshksoh student; and the unveiling of the Anna Julia Cooper Black Heritage Stamp.

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