Windsor, N.J. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was remembered
at a standing-room only event at Mercer County Community College's
James Kerney Campus in Trenton on Monday, Jan. 16. "I
Can Succeed" was this year's theme, which was celebrated
through music, dance, poetry, and a keynote address delivered
by Mr. John E. Harmon, Sr., president of the African American
Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.
A Trenton resident and MCCC alumnus, Harmon spoke to the audience
about his own climb from poverty into a successful career
in banking. From a family of seven children, Harmon was the
first to go to college. "I am humbled and honored to
speak at the school that gave me my start," he said.
Harmon is the recipient of the NAACP Freedom Award for Business
and the Leadership Award from 100 Black Men of New Jersey.
As a manager at the former Chemical Bank, he established the
company's Affordable Housing Loan Program.
Pulling out his own tattered copy of Dr. King's book, "Why
We Can't Wait," Harmon told his audience how King has
inspired his own life.
King was "an ordinary man who did extraordinary things,"
said Harmon, adding that King laid the foundation for all
African Americans to have a better life.
Harmon challenged his audience to consider who in the African
American community has done half as much as King did during
his brief 13 years as an activist. "Some of us have been
around much longer than that," he said, adding that the
only way to change the community for the better is to have
ambition and work hard to make the world a better place like
day's events included entertainment by the Brothers of Faith
Mime Team and MCCC's African American Student Organization
(AASO) troupe, "Born Free," who performed a spiritually
The AASO's advisor, Lucia Brown-Joseph, who is Mercer's bursar,
announced the winners of a poetry contest that challenged
students to write poems about ambition. High school students
from MCCC's Youth College and students from the Youth, Education
and Employment Success Center also participated, reading quotes
by famous African Americans. Girl Scout Troop 70992 of Lawrence/Ewing/Trenton
MCCC President Dr. Patricia Donahue reminded audience members
that Mercer's goal is to help students who have lost their
way to get back on the road to success. "We all know
Dr. King's dream was for all of our children to have a better
way and a better life, and that's why Mercer is here,"
Among those in attendance were Dr. Gwendolyn Harris, vice
chair of Mercer's Board of Trustees; Hon. Pasquale Colavita,
Jr., chair of Mercer County Freeholders; Dr. L. Diane Campbell,
executive dean for Student Affairs for Mercer; and W. Ruth
Rosser, a Mercer County commissioner and MCCC Foundation Board
The event was presented by the college's African American
Student Organization and Youth College.
a gallery of photos taken by Trenton Times photographer Michael
Mancuso, visit the Times website here.
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