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Award-winning journalist Yamiche Alcindor to deliver keynote address during 35th Annual MLK Jr. commemoration

Dec. 9, 2020, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Yamiche Alcindor, award-winning journalist and White House correspondent for PBS Newshour, will give the keynote address during West Michigan's commemoration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The virtual program on Monday, January 18, will run from 6:30-8 p.m. It is free and open to the public; register online to receive a link to the Zoom webinar. More information about Alcindor is below. The event will also introduce area high school scholarship recipients and include short welcomes from college presidents and community leaders.

Alcindor's address, "The Legacy of MLK: Purpose, Truth and Justice," is sponsored by Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University, with key support from Spectrum Health, Consumers Energy, and Warner Norcross and Judd LLP.

“Each year we come together as a community to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. We recognize his achievements, his life and his message," GRCC President Bill Pink said. "But it is also a time for us to take a hard look at ourselves and our community. We can appreciate how far we have come while still focusing on the long road ahead. The events of 2020 show we have much to do. Our annual celebration can inspire us to do that work together.”  

On the 35th anniversary of this community event, GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella said she is pleased the higher education partners teamed to bring Alcindor to the community.

"Dr. King’s legacy invites all of us to commit ourselves to fighting systemic racism by supporting the Black community and elevating their voices and experiences of yesterday, today and tomorrow," Mantella said. "Together, we as a nation have work to do."

Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University, said he is grateful the campus partners honor the legacy of King and are "renewed in our commitment to provide equitable and inclusive experiences across our campuses." 

"Together, we are teaching and shaping tomorrow’s leaders to build each other up, show others compassion, speak out against racism and violence and rally together for what is right," Pappas said. 

Alcindor joined PBS NewsHour in 2018. She began her journalism career at Newsday in New York and several years later was named a political correspondent for NBC and MSNBC. During the 2020 presidential election, Alcindor became a go-to voice in analyzing the nation's most critical issues.

Alcindor has received the White House Correspondents’ Association Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage and the 2020 National Association of Black Journalists' Journalist of the Year Award.

More information about Alcindor, the January 18 event and other events to commemorate King's life are online at

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