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Thirty-Eighth Annual Celebration Service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Congressman Alcee Hastings

Congressman Alcee Hastings

Thirty-Eighth Annual Celebration Service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Judge Michael A. Robinson

New Mount Olive Baptist Church, 400 N.W. Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. will host the 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Service on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 at 4 p.m., sponsored by the Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

This year’s celebration will include Minister Eddie Robinson, the Men’s Chorus of New Mount Olive, and the Dillard High School Gospel Chorus. United States Congressman Alcee L. Hastings will be the guest speaker. 

    United States Congressman Alcee L. Hastings represents his native state of Florida by serving as Congressman for District 20, which includes parts of Broward, Palm Beach, and Hendry Counties. Congressman Hastings was first elected in 1992 and is currently serving his 11th term in the Congress. Born in Altamonte Springs, he attended Florida’s public schools, and graduated from Fisk University in 1958. He earned his law degree from Florida A&M University. Known to many as “Judge,” Congressman Hastings has distinguished himself as an attorney, civil rights activist, judge, and now a Member of Congress. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, he became the first African-American Federal Judge in the State of Florida, and served in that position for 10 years. Since his election to Congress as the first African-American from Florida since the post-Civil War period, he has been an out-spoken advocate for Floridians and our nation as a whole. Throughout his life-time, he has championed the rights of minorities, women, the elderly, children, and immigrants.

In the 113th Congress, Congressman Hastings’ legislative priorities include continued efforts to create jobs and provide greater economic opportunities for middle class and working poor Americans; make our country safer and more secure; en-sure that our election systems are easier and more fair; support small businesses; invest in green energy and infrastructure; increase access to quality, affordable health care for all; ban assault weapons; fund Head Start and other education programs; strengthen and improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; protect the environment and pursue environmental justice; and provide family and medical leave to all workers. Furthermore, known throughout the world as an expert in foreign policy, he continues to advocate for diplomacy before military action to settle disputes with established and emerging nations.

Among Congress’ most respected voices in international affairs, Congressman Hastings is Ranking Democratic Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Commonly referred to as the Helsinki Commission, the independent U.S. government agency was created in 1976 to monitor and encourage compliance with the landmark human rights and democracy-building treaty signed in Fin-land the previous year. Members of the Commission are appointed by the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and the President. In 2007, Congressman Hastings became the first African-American to chair the Commission and continues his work in the areas of human rights, economic development, regional security, and parliamentary diplomacy.

With over ten years of experience in the intelligence community, Congressman Hastings remains committed to ensuring our national security and protecting the American people. In the 111th Congress, he served as Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was a member of its Subcommittee on Terrorism, HUMINT (Human Intelligence), Analysis, and Counterintelligence, as well as the Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management. Previously, he also worked to improve our electoral system in his capacity as Vice Chairman of the Democratic Select Committee on Election Re-form.

Congressman Hastings is the proud recipient of numerous honors and awards bestowed on him from organizations both at home and abroad. His governing philosophy is simple: he firmly believes that progress and change can be achieved through mutual respect and appreciation, and those individuals and communities can see beyond the limits of parochialism, enabling them to better understand each other.

The annual celebration service is in recognition of the magnificent works of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s noble precepts and ideals regarding equal rights, privileges and love for all man-kind led to the Congressional Declaration of January 15 as a national holiday in his honor, and the construction of the MLK National Monument in Washington D.C.

For further information, contact the church at (954) 463-5126 or Judge Michael A. Robinson at (954) 831-7258.


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