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Creighton Honors Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Campus Events

Creighton Honors Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Campus Events

Creighton University will hold a week-long series of campus events, Jan. 18-24, to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Events include a presentation of community and student awards, a Unity Prayer luncheon and a cake and choir celebration. This year’s theme is “Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding, " and is one of Dr. King’s principles of nonviolence. That theme will be reflected in an elementary school poster and essay contest.

All events are free and open to the public. Additional details on individual events:

Saturday, Jan. 18, 4th Annual Teach-In, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Ahmanson Law School

This educational seminar focuses on teaching participants about the principles, ideals and social change methods that embodied Dr. King’s life. The program, in partnership with Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, includes lunch but seating is limited. Registration is required by Jan. 10 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MLKJrTeach-In.

Monday, Jan. 20, Courageous Voices Table Talk, noon- 1:00 p.m., Room 3027, Harper Center

These sessions offer participants the opportunity for candid discussion on topics concerning social justice and equality.

Monday, Jan. 20, Recognition Ceremony, 4-5:00 p.m. Hixson-Lied Auditorium, Mike and Josie Harper Center, 602 N. 20th St.

This celebration will include a presentation of community and student awards and recognition of winners of a University-sponsored elementary school poster and essay contest. The President's Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award will be given to Heather Duhachek, founder of Generation Hope and Julie Kalkowski, director, Financial Hope Collaborative and Tina Gray, director, Financial Success Program, both of Creighton.

Duhachek, who has experienced domestic violence in her own life, has dedicated herself to providing counseling and education for individuals and families impacted by the destructive effects of domestic violence. Founded in 2011, Generation Hope provides intervention, education, empowerment and treatment for children and families.

As a licensed independent mental health practioner, Duhachek works with survivors, batterers and the community through individual, family and group therapy. In addition, she as supervising practitioner of the agency she provides services in the youth and family’s natural environment in order to improve the family’s level of functioning within their environment and to enhance the care giver’s ability to manage their children’s mental health. Duhachek also fosters community discussion and awareness of the issue of domestic violence by presenting publically on this topic.

The Financial Success Program, a program of the Creighton University’s Financial Hope Collaborative, focuses on three core components: providing training regarding financial management to low-income single mothers, providing ongoing financial coaching and assisting individual program participants to develop a personal and easy to use money management system.

The program recognizes that effective financial education can be life-changing for low-income mothers. The nine-week curriculum was created to address immediate financial issues for the target population and includes topics such as tracking expenses, saving for emergencies and repairing credit reports. Results from the participant’s pre and post-tests show significant increases in the clients’ financial well-being, sense of control; hopefulness and attitude change toward their finances directly correlate into a very high program graduation rate. Known as “queens” in this program, over 130 single, low-income mothers have completed the year-long program and put their financial house in order.

The Financial Hope Collaborative originally began when United Way of the Midlands created the Financial Stability Partnership in 2006. The Partnership’s Financial Success Program was transferred to Creighton University in 2010 and is located in the Heider College of Business. The Financial Hope Collaborative and the Financial Success Program have been instrumental in launching several metro area low-income families toward financial stability.

Other awards being given include Student Leadership Awards, presented to Creighton students who put into practice the ideals of Dr. King, and campus awards for diversity excellence and innovation.

Wednesday, Jan. 23, Unity Prayer Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Harper Center ballroom.

The luncheon brings together community and campus participants to network, listen to inspirational words and to recognize individuals who bring together the community in collaboration. The keynoter is Elictia Hart, who works alongside her husband, Pastor James Hart, at one of Omaha’s largest diverse, multi-cultural congregation’s in Omaha, Eagle’s Nest Worship Center. Known for her compassion, faithfulness and willingness to go the extra mile to share the love of Christ, Hart traveled the globe for nearly 20 years as a journalist. She has worked for “Entertainment Tonight” In Los Angeles and CNBA in Hong Kong. Her passion for sports led her to ESPN in Singapore and eventually to the Fox Sports Network on the West Coast.

Also presented at the luncheon is the Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award, given to an individual who serves as an advocate for social justice and brings the community together by promoting collaboration among diverse groups. This year the award is being presented to John Levy, executive director, Heart Ministry Center.

As an active community volunteer that has served on both local and national nonprofit boards, Levy became executive director in September 2010. Before that, he practiced law for a large Omaha law firm representing clients in transactions involving qualified low income housing and new markets tax credits.

Levy graduated with honors and distinction from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies. He earned his juris doctorate with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law. And in the spring of 2014 he will complete his master's degree in history from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He is also a graduate of Leadership Omaha and was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans in 2008. His volunteer experience includes serving on the boards of directors and committees for the Anti-Defamation League, Project Interfaith, Boys Scouts of America, Pastoral Maya, Mount Michael Benedictine, Latin American Solidarity, Christian Urban Education Services, Nebraska State Bar Association and Nebraska Appleseed Center for Legal Justice.

Reservations are required for the luncheon and must be made by Jan. 12. For reservations, register online at https://www.blueq-surveys.creighton.edu/se.ashx?s=46BEEE7F018DE7D2 or by calling 402.280.2931.

Thursday Jan. 23, a “Cake and Choir” concert, noon, V.J. and Angela Skutt Student Center.

This musical celebration features cake and gospel music performed by local artists and musicians.