We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now” … “The time is always right to do what is right.” These and other thought-provoking quotes by the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be the focus of discussion during the American Conference on Diversity Atlantic County Chapter 32rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Brotherhood-Sisterhood Breakfast.
The exciting event marks the first of many during our year-long 65th anniversary celebration of valuing diversity, educating leaders, and promoting respect throughout New Jersey. This year also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
The buffet breakfast will be held January 22 at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (Campus Center Event Room) from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. It will include a keynote presentation by Ali Reynolds, Director of Community Development Partnerships for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. She will set the stage for a moderated panel discussion with local student leaders focused on Dr. King’s messages and the social-injustice challenges facing the next generation.
This year’s confirmed middle school and high school students attend the following public and private schools: Absegami High School, Oakcrest High School, Atlantic City High School East Campus, Atlantic City High School, Hammonton High School, Egg Harbor Township High School, Holy Spirit High School, Mainland Regional High School, and Pleasantville High School.
“We are delighted year after year to engage the students of the Atlantic County region in this annual community tradition commemorating Dr. King’s legacy and dream. It is always wonderful to see so many diverse students coming together. The students continue to surprise, inspire, and amaze us with their insights, and we are greatly looking forward to hearing their responses to this year’s theme,” says Atlantic County Chapter Vice Chair of Programs Dianne Lennon.
In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to share their personal “Defining Moments in Diversity” on video. As part of a special 65th anniversary project, the American Conference on Diversity is gathering 60-second clips, which will become part of a full-length video to debut at our 65th Anniversary State Dinner April 4 at the Pleasantdale Château in West Orange, NJ. (Call 732-745-9330 for details.)
What attendees said about last year’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Brotherhood-Sisterhood Breakfast:
“Students from so many diverse backgrounds come together in good fellowship and respectful admiration of each other’s opinions. This experience is a great opportunity for young people to learn about cultures other than their own and to share a small part of themselves.”
- Hammonton High School Student Council Advisor Mary Ann Meehan
“I cannot begin to thank you for allowing our school to participate in the Dr. MLK Breakfast and strongly encourage other schools to take part in this educational and inspiring event. Each year our students look forward to attending the breakfast. The event gives students the opportunity to meet youth from neighboring schools in a non-competitive and supportive environment as well as give them the opportunity to articulate their individual perspectives on diversity!”
- Atlantic City High School Guidance Counselor Tanya Cain
The cost to attend the breakfast is $25 for individual tickets or $250 for a table of 10. To register or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Melissa Sandler, MPA, at 732-745-9330, ext. 23, or melisssa@AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org.
Student table sponsors include: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Richard Stockton College of NJ, Freeholder & Mrs. Charles Garrett, Community Quest, Inc., and the ACUA.
Our Atlantic County Chapter Board includes: Chapter Chair Eric Reynolds, Immediate Past Chair Donna Nelson Lee*, Vice-Chair of Finance Daniel Kelly, Vice-Chair of Programs Dianne S. Lennon, Vice Chair of Publicity Alyce Parker, John Bettis*, Al Cade**, James Cooper*, Jonathan Diego, Yvonne Doggett*, Tamika Gilbert Floyd, Victor Gazzara, Charles Garrett, Rabbi Gordon L. Geller, Fran Goldstein, Sonya Harris, Donna Haye, Dr. Juanita J. High, Enilda Mahrer, Riaz A. Rajput, Patricia Royal, Laurie Shanderson, Kaleem Shabazz, Maria I. Torres, Mayor Jesse L. Tweedle, and Helen Walsh.
*Ex-Officio Members – Past Chapter Chairs
**Ex-Officio Member - Chair Emeritus
About Keynote Speaker Ali Reynolds
As Director of Community Development Partnerships for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), Ali Reynolds is responsible for developing and implementing projects and programs designed to strengthen neighborhoods in the Atlantic City community as well as recruit new business prospects and businesses suitable for relocation and/or expansion into Atlantic City. She previously served as Vice Chair of the CRDA Board. Prior to joining the CRDA in her current position, Reynolds held various positions with Atlantic County Government, serving as Chief of Administrative Services, Government and Community Relations Director, and Rent and Housing Coordinator. She also worked in Health and Human Services for the City of Trenton, as Acting Coordinator of Health Education, and the Urban League of Metropolitan Trenton, as Director of Community Organization for Life Skills and Personal Enhancement. Reynolds is a former Vice Chair of 101 Women Plus, a member of the Atlantic County Advisory Commission on Woman, and on the boards of The Salvation Army, The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority and the United Progress, and most recently the United Way of Atlantic County.
About the American Conference on Diversity
The programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity, which has been serving schools, organizations, workplaces, and communities in New Jersey since 1948, builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates eight chapters to help us to educate and empower leaders and bring our messages of inclusion and respect to communities throughout New Jersey: Atlantic County Chapter, Bayonne Chapter, Central Jersey Chapter, Essex County Chapter, Greater Bergen Chapter, Hudson County Chapter, Jersey Shore Chapter, and Mercer County Chapter. Visit www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.
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