For the Rev. Clyde Brooks, celebrating what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 84th birthday this month is about much more than simply remembering the civil rights leader.
"Dr. King wanted so much for us not to focus on him as a name, but rather to focus on the needs of the community," Brooks said.
He is hopeful attendees at the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations' 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance and Celebration Dinner on Friday, Jan. 18 will take a look at their communities and think about some of the social, educational and economic needs that they can help address.
"It's just a reminder of where we've been and where we need to go," said Brooks, who serves as chairman for the commission.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Stonegate Conference and Banquet Center, 2401 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates.
Toni Carter, former deputy mayor for Hanover Park and human resources consultant for Motorola Solutions, will be the dinner speaker. Carter and Motorola will be honored for their devotion to workforce diversity. Brooks said.
Carter is one of three honorees. The other two are civil rights attorney Kay Hoogland and the Sears Holding Company and its vice president for human resources, Sherry Nolan-Schultz.
Music will be provided by the Sears Gospel Choir and the Rev. Nathaniel Edmond of the Second Baptist Church of Elgin will be the master of ceremonies, Brooks said.
A second dinner celebrating King's work will be hosted by the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations in Chicago at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. To register for either event call (630) 771-1707 or visit icdhr.com.