SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams, renowned for her nearly 15-year service in Atlanta courts, has been chosen as the keynote speaker for the upcoming Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Recognition Breakfast. The annual event, which honors the legacy of Dr. King, will take place on January 15 at the Century Center in South Bend.
With a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, Judge Adams brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event. She has remained civically involved throughout her career, serving on various boards for law and youth-related organizations and receiving numerous accolades for her contributions. As a lifelong member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she was even involved in the production of the documentary “Twenty Pearls” and the editing of a companion book.
The breakfast, held under the theme “Keeping the Dream of Peace Alive: Don’t Let it Die,” not only features Judge Adams’ keynote speech but also commences a day full of free events at the Century Center. These events, running until 5 p.m., include workshops, discussions, a youth cultural program, and a traditional march from the County-City Building, with ceremonies taking place at 11:45 a.m.
One of the highlights of the breakfast is the presentation of the annual Drum Major Awards, which recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities. South Bend Mayor James Mueller will present the award to Dr. Scott Thomas of Beacon Medical Group, Pastor Ray Owens of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, and Marion Fulce, who serves on the board of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County. Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood will also present his Drum Major Awards to Anny Gann of VFW Post 360, retired Mishawaka fire chief Dale Freeman, and the nonprofit organization Get Wet for a Vet.
Elizabeth Bennion, professor of political science and director of community engagement at Indiana University South Bend, will be honored with the annual Roland Kelly Award. In addition to her academic achievements, Bennion is the director of voter services and education for the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area and hosts a weekly show called “Politically Speaking” on WNIT-TV.
Tickets for the breakfast must be purchased in advance, as they will not be available for sale at the door. They can be ordered online through Eventbrite under the “2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration” or via email to Jessica Kitchens at [email protected]. The deadline for ordering tickets is January 8, and each ticket is priced at $25.
In conclusion, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Recognition Breakfast in South Bend will feature Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams as the keynote speaker. Judge Adams, who has an extensive background in the legal field and community service, will bring her insights and experiences to honor the spirit of Dr. King. This annual event serves as a platform to celebrate local individuals who have demonstrated exemplary service to their communities and preserves the legacy of Dr. King.