District 205 and South Suburban College United to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at ‘Let Freedom Ring, 60 Years Later from Stone Mountain’ Event

South Holland, IL – Thornton Township High School District 205 and South Suburban College (SSC) co-hosted a collaborative event named “Let Freedom Ring, 60 Years Later from Stone Mountain” to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event, which took place on Monday, January 15th, at SSC’s Kindig Performing Arts Center, gathered students, educators, community leaders, and distinguished guests in celebration of equality and justice.

The program commenced with the presentation of colors by the District 205 Civil Air Patrol and the national anthem, followed by “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” performed by the District 205 Concert Choir and Combined District 205 High School Bands. Mistress of Ceremony, Mrs. Deborah Kimball Crosslin, facilitated the event, starting with the introduction of Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith Jr., Pastor Emeritus of Covenant United Church of Christ. Rev. Smith delivered an invocation, setting a tone of reflection and unity.

Throughout the event, various performances unfolded, including a soprano vocal performance by student Maggie Garner from SSC, accompanied by Marilyn Bourgeois of SSC on piano; a spoken word performance by SSC student KaVonya Moore; vocal performances by Simbryt Dortch and The Bourne Family; and a speech performance titled “Fall Forward,” written by Denzel Washington and performed by Dylan Browley from Thornton Township High School.

Senator Napoleon Harris introduced the keynote speaker, Bishop Lance Davis, Founder and Executive Director of Building Our Own Community (BOOC), Inc. Bishop Davis delivered a keynote address that resonated with the event’s theme. The event also featured a National Day of Service Presentation by Top Ladies of Distinction & Top Teens of America, South Suburban Chicago Chapter, who made a food donation to the South Suburban College food pantry. SSC Board Chair, Terry R. Wells, expressed gratitude on behalf of SSC.

Dr. Nathaniel Cunningham Jr., Superintendent of Thornton Township High School District 205, expressed appreciation for the collaborative effort between both institutions: “This event was a testament to the power of unity and education in fostering positive change within our community.” Dr. Lynette Stokes, President of SSC, stated, “We are proud to have hosted this significant event that celebrates Dr. King’s legacy while inspiring future generations to continue his work towards equality.” Closing performances included a rendition of “Stand by Me” by the District 205 Concert Choir and Stevie Wonder’s iconic song “Happy Birthday” by the Combined District 205 High School Bands.

Following the event, South Suburban College hosted a lunch in their atrium and presented a photo exhibit from the South Suburban Housing Center. The exhibit highlighted Dr. King’s freedom movement, encompassing his advocacy for open and fair housing on both a national and local level, particularly in the City of Chicago. For more information, please contact Zanetta Miller, SSC Executive Director of Public Relations and Resource Development, at 708-225-5846 or via email at zmiller@ssc.edu., and Mary Ann Thornton, District 205 Public Relations Manager, at 708-518-9595 or thornton.maryann@district205.net.

About Thornton Township High School District 205:

Thornton Township High School District 205, located in South Holland, Illinois, is a leading educational institution dedicated to providing exceptional education and fostering a supportive environment for their students. District 205 schools, Thornridge, Thornton, and Thornwood, are committed to empowering minds, inspiring futures, and preparing students for college, career readiness, and lifelong learning. For more information about Thornton Township High School District 205, please visit www.district205.net.

 About South Suburban College:

South Suburban College (SSC) is a public community college located in South Holland, Illinois, with an additional campus in Oak Forest. Offering a diverse array of over 100 program options, SSC provides career education, college transfer credit programs, non-credit customized training, and an array of special interest programs. For more information, about SSC, please visit www.ssc.edu/

A photo of a musical group performing on stage during a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration.

Pictured: Musicians of District 205 High School Bands perform Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’ at the culmination of the 2024 MLK event.