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Lawrence school district to present awards at One Dream MLK event

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Students, educators and community members will be honored Thursday during the Lawrence school district’s annual One Dream Martin Luther King Jr. tribute.

The event celebrates the vision of the slain civil rights leader and those making efforts locally to bring MLK’s dreams to reality.

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The finalists for this year’s honors are:

MLK Heart of Service Award:

Student: Landry Wilson (Deerfield Elementary).
Staff: Katie Hutchison (Lawrence High School) and Susan Miller (Southwest Middle School).

MLK Character Award:

Elementary: Echo Deer and Geovanni Juarez-Hernandez (Broken Arrow); and Eli Kaul (Hillcrest).
High School: Bianca Nieto and Litzy Torres-Zepeda (LHS).

MLK Dreamer’s Award:

Students: Shreya Bhakta and Anotida Chikanda (Free State High School).
Adults: Steve Cadue (community advocate for Indigenous people), Eric Cheray (Pinckney Elementary) and Amy Laytimi (LHS).

MLK Champion of Equity Award:

Staff: Annette Kenoly (district curriculum specialist), Bee Hoffman (LHS) and Danica Moore (district equity facilitator).
Community: Cody Charles (advocate and founder of Haus of McCoy).

Cultural tributes and performances will round out the free program. Held at the Lied Center, the event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with a gallery of educational and cultural displays of contributions by students, district staff and community members.

The popular Lego models of Lawrence’s historic Black churches and a video featuring singing by young adults in the district’s Community Transition program will be on display in the gallery, said district spokesperson Julie Boyle.

Superintendent Anthony Lewis told the school board at its Jan. 10 meeting the Lied Center’s vast capacity could accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols. He said the building provides plenty of room for the size of the audience that typically attends, so participants and audiences can spread out and safely distance. Masks are required.

The program also will be livestreamed on the Lied Center’s website at this link or on the district’s website here. The One Dream gallery opens at 5:30 p.m. with the ceremony to follow at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive.

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Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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