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updated: 1/13/2012 11:33 AM

Sheila Simon to keynote King dinner in Hoffman Estates

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  • Sheila Simon

    Sheila Simon

  • The Rev. Clyde Brooks

      The Rev. Clyde Brooks
    BILL ZARS | Staff Photographer


An appearance by Illinois' lieutenant governor will highlight a celebration of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.'s life this week in the Northwest suburbs.

Hosted by the Illinois Commission on Diversity & Human Relations, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance and Celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Stonegate Conference Center, 2500 W. Higgins Road, in Hoffman Estates.

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon will be the keynote speaker.

The Rev. Clyde Brooks, a noted scholar in education, business and theology, launched the annual dinner in Arlington Heights in 1971.

Brooks was inspired to honor King's life with a dinner after working with King while he resided in a rundown apartment on Chicago's west side to demonstrate the need for affordable housing.

Sunday, Jan. 15 will mark what would have been King's 83rd birthday. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis.

In recent years the local celebration has expanded to recognize the achievements of various racial and cultural groups that have occurred since King's death. It also honors the individuals, businesses and organizations who continue to promote King's ideals.

For tickets and information on the dinner, visit

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