Emancipation event draws leaders

Tribune Chronicle

YOUNGSTOWN – The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Youngstown and Vicinity and the Baptist Pastors’ Council will host the annual community Emancipation Proclamation services 10 a.m. Friday at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, 707 Tabernacle Blvd.

The longest continuous African-American community celebration in the Mahoning Valley recognizes President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the document which abolished slavery.

The Rev. Chris McKee is the host pastor and the Revs. Lewis Macklin and Larry Parker are the presidents of the sponsoring organization.

The keynote speaker is Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile and Family Court Judge Michael Ryan of Cleveland. He is also a former executive board member for the Cleveland Chapter of the NAACP.

Ryan was also a recipient of the Archbishop James P. Lyke African American Male Image Award and the Concerned Partners in Education Judge of the Year. He is a recipient of the Citizen of the Year award from the Zeta Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Penny Wells, founding director of Sojourn to the Past and retired educator, will be presented as the 2016 recipient of the Rev. Elizabeth Powell Heritage Award.

The award recognizes community leaders that have advocated for social justice and the ideals of peace.

As the organizer / director of Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, Wells annually takes Youngstown high school students on a 10-day civil rights journey to the South to experience the civil rights movement and to engage them in social justice upon their return.

In 2010, under Wells’ direction, her students petitioned the Youngstown Board of Education, the Youngstown City Council and the trustees of Youngstown State University to declare the first week in October Nonviolence Week. Those efforts results in the students proposing a bill to their which Gov. John Kasich signed into law Nonviolence Week in Ohio on July 11, 2013.

Her works were acknowledged by First Lady Michele Obama with a presentation of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House.

Bishop George Murry of the Youngstown Catholic Diocese will conduct the installation and commissioning service of officers of faith and community organizations as well as elected and appointed public officials.

The installation will unveil and showcase the collective leadership within the African American community

The IMA and BPC share similar missions which are to promote ecumenical fellowship in a united effort for the good of human welfare; promote pastoral dignity and ethical fellowship with one another.