Growing Power CEO Will Allen to Headline SJC's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program

January 9, 2013

On Monday, January 21, Saint Joseph's College and surrounding communities will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy with a series of events, beginning with the annual Diversity March through Rensselaer. All are welcome to participate in the program free of charge.

This year's speaker is Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power. Based in Milwaukee, Wis., Growing Power transforms communities by supporting people from diverse backgrounds and the environments in which they live through the development of Community Food Systems. These systems provide high quality, healthy, affordable food for various communities.

Allen is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, he trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces.

In 2008, Allen was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a genius grant for his work. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching "Let's Move!," her signature leadership program, to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Allen to the Time 100 World's Most Influential People.

The program will kick off at 12:00 pm CST with participants being bused from the Rev. Charles Banet, C.PP.S. Core Education Center on the SJC campus to the Jasper County Courthouse. At 12:20, the Diversity March from the Courthouse back to campus will begin, ending at the Rev. Charles Banet, C.PP.S. Core Education Center, where Allen's speech will be held in the Shen Auditorium at 1:00. There will also be a musical performance by international Gospel Jazz guitarist Roland Gresham of Athens, Ga. Those in attendance will have a chance to win an iPad 2. A breakout session with Allen will be held in the Courtney Auditorium, next to the Shen Auditorium, at 3:00 for all who would like to attend.

Recognition will be given to the winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Contest, for which entries were solicited from area K-12 schools, high schools, and SJC. Two SJC community members will be recognized as the eleventh and twelfth Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Honorees, individuals whose service to the College reflects the values exemplified by King. Past honorees include: Associate Dean of Students for Safety and Security Ernest Watson '82; SJC employee Jeanie Bushman; Head Librarian Cathy Salyers; Professor of Philosophy Dr. John Nichols; Associate Professor of Communication Fred Berger; Associate Professor of Philosophy Br. Rob Reuter, C.PP.S.; Sodexo employees Jeannette Randolph and Alice McKay; Circulation and Archives Manager Pam Brown-Seely; and Instructor of Spanish Claudia Sadowski.

Saint Joseph's College, named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation and a "best Midwestern college" by the Princeton Review, is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 34 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of 1,100 students.

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