Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will host its annual Martin Luther King Jr. March and Candlelight Vigil Monday, Jan. 19, on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a march from the Thomas Hall lobby to the Grand Ballroom, located in Eastern's MLK Jr. Union. The program there - scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. - will feature Cordell Ingram, principal of the Robertson Charter School in Decatur, speaking on "Shifting a Dream into a Plan."
Ingram, who received his master's degree in education administration from Eastern, taught in the Decatur public schools for eight years prior to joining RCS in 2003. He was also formerly the head football coach at MacArthur High School in Decatur.
Monday's program will include musical selections by Eastern's Unity Gospel Choir and soloist Essence Allen, accompanied by Brandon Jelks on the piano. Allen and Jelks are both students at EIU.
In addition, Alpha Phi Alpha will honor Charleston resident Bill Ridgeway, EIU professor emeritus, for his efforts in helping to organize the local chapter 40 years ago.
Three awards will also be presented -- the Alpha Image Award, given to a faculty/staff member who serves as a role model to Eastern's student body; the Annie B. Singleton Award, given to a female student involved in campus organizations and community service; and the MLK Jr. Essay Award (a scholarship), to be presented to a Charleston High School senior.
Interested persons need not participate in the march to attend the program, although organizers invite all attendees to participate if weather and health allow.
Admission is free.