Educator Geoffrey Canada, the president and CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone, was the speaker at ODU Tuesday evening for its 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observance. I was there and I can tell you: the guy is a powerful speaker. Pilot columnist Roger Chesley was also there and has a great writeup here.
The University also presents an award each year to a community member whose lives mirror the principles of equality and humanity. The award is named for Hugo Owens, a long time champion of civil rights in the area and the first black rector of the ODU Board of Visitors. Receiving the Hugo Owens Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award this year was Jane Batten, widow of Frank Batten, former chairman of Landmark, which publishes The Virginian-Pilot. Jane Batten is a community activist in her own right, serving on the board of Smart Beginnings and other organizations.