Annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration set for Jan. 20 in Charleston, local nurse to be honored

The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission will hold the annual commemoration and celebration of the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 20.

This year’s theme is: “The Beloved Community: The Fierce Urgency of Now.”

This year’s celebration will take place at Asbury United Methodist Church, 501 Elizabeth Street in Charleston, on Monday, January 20.

The Ecumenical Service will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will feature Jennifer Wells; WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition Executive Director as the keynote speaker.

The Symbolic March at 12 p.m. will proceed to the north steps of the State Capitol Complex for a bell-ringing ceremony at 12:30 p.m. The Unity Reception will follow immediately at the West Virginia Culture Center.

Wells is a graduate of both Marshall University and West Virginia University. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work. She currently serves as WV Center on Budget and Policy board president, NASW WV Chapter President Elect, and WV state chair of CARE (international humanitarian organization) and Political Action Chair for NAACP WV.

In 2018, Wells was named the Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers WV Chapter.

The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission will be awarding the following recipients:

The Governor’s Living the Dream Award: Angela Gray.

Sharing of Self Award: Teresa Brown.

Scholarship Award: Sho’Monique Hankins.

Human and Civil rights Award: Rev. Jeff Biddle Jr.

Advocate of Peace Award: Rev. Clifford Rawls.

These events are free and open to the public.

For more information contact: Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs at 304-356-2023.

The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, which operates within the Office of Governor Jim Justice, is committed to assisting all underserved citizens across West Virginia and developing innovative ways to address issues affecting minority populations through conversation, education, leadership, and collaboration. For more information, visit us on social media, our website at, or call our office at 304-356-2023.