Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program to Kickoff Diversity Week
Web Editor and Public Relations - Published: February 18, 2011
2011MLKDelawareProgramPromoOn Monday, February 21st at noon in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on the Delaware campus, Widener Law will honor New Castle County Councilman Jea P Street as part of its Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemorative Program. This year’s program will also serve as the start of Diversity week, which will run from the 21st through the 26th.

Councilman Street will be presented with the Martin Luther King Semester of Service Award, which is presented annually to a member of the community “who has lived Dr. King’s dream, who has manifested in their life’s work those commitments to community service and to social justice that the School of Law seeks in our Semester of Service project.” Through the project, Widener Law students contribute their efforts to charitable labor and pro bono law-related service. The semester of service happens each spring and is now in its fifth year.

The school’s first semester of service award was given in February 2010 to Judge Murray M. Schwartz, former chief judge of the United States District Court for Delaware. The winner is chosen by the law dean from a list of nominees forwarded by the school’s Faculty Diversity and Accommodations Committee.

Speakers at the Commemoration Program will include Widener School of Law Dean Linda L. Ammons, and Leland Ware, Louis L. Redding Chair and Professor of Law & Public Policy, University of Delaware. The Program also will feature the launch of the Fifth Annual Martin Luther King Semester of Service.

Councilman Jea P. Street attended the Wilmington Public School System and is a graduate of The University of Delaware. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center, where he has served for over twenty years, and as the New Castle County Councilmember for the County’s Tenth District.

Councilman Street has also served as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Wilmington; as Executive Director, Parent Educational Resource Center; and as the Chairman of The Coalition To Save Our Children, where he established himself as a compassionate advocate for the education of children. The Coalition represented black children in the former Wilmington and DeLaWar School Districts in the final stages of the New Castle County School Desegregation litigation. He has been awarded the King Memorial Foundation Award for Outstanding Community Service (1995), the MBNA Community Hero Award (1996), a Lifetime Achievement Award from Our Youth Inc. (2003), and the Education Award from the Afro-American Historical Society (2004).

All members of the Law School community are encouraged to attend the event. Refreshments will be available.

Diversity week will feature a number of events designed to celebrate multicultural awareness, including:
  • FUSION! Dinner: On Monday, February 21, 2011 from 5 pm to 8 pm in the Barristers’ Club, the Student Bar Association will hold its annual FUSION! Dinner. With help from People to People International's Delaware Chapter, the SBA have been able to secure murals painted by school children from countries all over the world, a photo slide show of people, places, cultures from over thirty nations, dancers demonstrating dances from different countries and cultures including belly dancers, salsa, flamenco, and others. Tickets are $5.00 and proceeds will go to charity. Come out to learn about and sample these different cultures, lands, people, and traditions and celebrate multi-cultural FUSION!
  • Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Panel: On Tuesday, February 22nd from 4:30 to 6:00 pm in the Barristers’ Club. Professor Justin G. Holbrook will moderate a panel that will include Professor John G. Culhane and Professor Thomas J. Reed. Dinner will be served.
  • Diversity on the Bench Panel: Delaware SBA President Damiano del Pino will moderate a panel discussion is which judges will share their experiences on Wednesday, February 23rd from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in the Barristers’ Club.
  • BLSA “Pioneers and Trailblazers” Awards Banquet: On Thursday February 24, 2011 the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is hosting an alumni event to honor the first African American graduates from Widener University School of Law. There will be a reception in the Strine Atrium of the Main Law Building from 5 -6 pm.