Commission says U.S. Rep. John Lewis is "not expected to attend" MLK event

Rep. John Lewis (Photo Source: US Congress)
Rep. John Lewis (Photo Source: US Congress)(WTOK)
Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 10:29 PM EST
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A record of 1,800 people are expected to attend the 35th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan said.

“We will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as recognize the 55th anniversary of the Selma march that hastened passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” said Elaine Hardy, MLK Commission chair. “It will be a full and robust program that also includes a tribute to Congressman John Lewis for his many years of extraordinary service.”

U.S. Representative John Lewis was scheduled to speak at the event, however, he is limiting his travel due to the treatment he is receiving for pancreatic cancer, according to the commission.

The commission said he is not expected to attend the MLK Day of Celebration in Lansing.

“We will continue to pray for Congressman Lewis’ full recovery and look forward to welcoming him to our community in the future," Hardy said.

However, the commission said others are scheduled to speak at the event including U.S Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier.

The commission said participants and winners of the 2020 MLK Commission art and student essay contests will also be recognized at the event and will be receiving about $25,000 in scholarships and awards.

The commission said there will also be entertainment including 12-time Grammy-nominated R&B and jazz recording artist, vocalist and actress Ledisi as well as Lansing's "The Music of the Dream Orchestra."

The sold-out event will be held on Monday, Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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