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Coretta Scott King Center's Inaugural Legacy Luncheon a Sold-Out Success

(Yellow Springs, OH) By any measure, the Coretta Scott King Center’s first external friend-raiser was a big success.

More than 200 supporters from across the Miami Valley attended the CSKC’s Inaugural Legacy Luncheon on April 26 at the Dayton Racquet Club. The sold-out affair featured a performance by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, a video about Coretta Scott King’s time as an Antioch student and her impact on society, and a salute to present-day change makers continuing her legacy. The event was held the day before what would have been her 90th birthday, the Village of Yellow Springs issued a proclamation declaring April 27th as Coretta Scott King Day.

Cong. Eleanor Holmes Norton ’60 received the inaugural Legacy Award, for her many contributions as a social justice advocate, presented by trustee Barbara Winslow ‘68. “For me, Coretta Scott King was a mentor, a role model and a friend,” wrote Cong. Norton, who was unable to attend the event. “She was a full movement partner with her husband, and after his death, she carried forward her own unique life’s work for nonviolence and universal human rights. Coretta worked ceaselessly and magnificently for the great causes they had both embraced, and she succeeded in creating her own way, leaving her own signature on civil rights in the United States.

“Coretta still inspires my work in the Congress every day, and I know that the Coretta Scott King Center will continue to inspire students at Antioch to fight for universal human rights and make this nation and world more just and free for us all.”

The Center also presented Justice Awards to three regional social justice leaders: YWCA Dayton CEO Shannon TL Isom; World House Choir director Dr. Catherine Roma, and the 365 Project, a Yellow Springs community group working to dismantle racial barriers.

The luncheon was one of the first projects arising from the Framework for Antioch College’s Transition (FACT) process to come to fruition. “The idea to have a gala to expand the awareness of the Coretta Scott King Center in the Miami Valley was discussed during our CSKC design-build,” explained VP for Diversity and Inclusion and CSKC Executive Director Mila P. Cooper.  “Attendees believed that the Center bearing the name of this civil rights legend should be known beyond our campus and Yellow Springs. In addition, we wanted to honor those who are continuing this very important work.”

The luncheon received sponsorships from the Dayton Foundation and Yellow Springs Community Foundation, and corporate support from the Dayton business community.  “I could not be more pleased with the outcome of the Legacy Luncheon,” said Cooper. “The people who attended represented the diversity that we strive for at the Center, representing all walks of life and unique communities in Dayton, Yellow Springs, Wilberforce, Springfield, Xenia and beyond.  Our honorees were the ideal recipients for our inaugural awards.  It was a warm and engaging experience.”

The previous evening, Anna Samake ’19 received the 2nd Annual Coretta Scott King Student for Change Award, during the on-campus commemoration of Coretta Scott King (read her story in “Co-op Notes” on the back cover). The event included remarks by Rev. Dr. Crystal Walker of Greater Dayton Christian Connections and a performance by the World House Choir.

Cooper is buoyed by the week’s success, and is already looking forward to next year’s Legacy Luncheon.