“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr. in his Letter from Birmingham Jail on April 16th of 1963, in reflecting on how all people are tied together.
On Monday, January 16th, Widener Law’s Delaware campus held a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration titled “A Single Garment of Destiny – A Celebration of Service,” that focused on that theme of interconnection and service to one another. The celebration honored Paulette Sullivan Moore, Esq. with the 2013 Martin Luther King Semester of Service Award, which is presented annually to a member of the community who has demonstrated commitment to community service and to social justice.
The Vice President of Public Policy for the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Sullivan Moore is a Delaware native and was the first African American woman to pass the Delaware Bar. She previously has served as a litigator for the city of Wilmington, an attorney with Doroshow, Pasquale law firm, the recorder of deeds for New Castle County, a prosecutor for the state of Delaware, an attorney for New Castle County Council, and a managing attorney and acting deputy director for the Community Legal Aid Society Inc.
“It has been my honor to welcome you to an event that honors a woman who embodies the spirit of service,” said Student Bar Association
Vice President for Community Service Marta Skuza in her welcome.Black Law Students Association
President Lauren Hughes followed Skuza with a brief consideration of King’s Legacy and touched on the theme evoked by King in his famous letter. Professor Sydney Howe-Barksdale
, Director of the Public Interest Resource Center
, then invited students to participate in the Martin Luther King Semester of Service program. Now in its 7th year, the project encourages students to contribute their efforts to charitable labor and pro bono law-related service.
Women’s Law Caucus
President Beth Steinberg introduced Sullivan Moore, who then spoke briefly about her work with the National Network to End Domestic Violence, including the current push to get the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized.
Sullivan Moore spoke about the difficulties in finding public policy solutions to societal problems caused by the lack of funding, and echoing the program’s theme of interconnection, she said, “Everybody has to feel that they’re going to win. Everybody has to feel that there is a place for them.”
The program closed with the presentation of the award and remarks from Dean Linda Ammons
, who thanked Sullivan Moore for everything that she does before paraphrasing Winston Churchill by saying, “Remember that we may think that we have conquered something only to see it come back, but remember that it is the courage to go on that matters.”