Pathfinder Awards Held at MSU to Commemorate MLK Day
This year's Pathfinder Award recipients were honored Monday night at MSU.
Since 1986, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Board has been selecting recipients for its "Pathfinder Award."
The award recognizes individuals or organizations that the board believes "Are initiators for equal treatment and human rights" in the spirit of Dr. King.
Three awards were given out at tonight's ceremony, the first to Diana Joseph for her work with the Good Thunder Reading Series.
"A lot of people in this room used that freedom to celebrate the principles Dr. King stood for; equality, inclusion, compassion, empathy and social justice to all," said Joseph.
The MLK Commemorative Board acknowledged that adults aren't the only ones who benefit their communities.
In 2002, a Young Pathfinder award was created to spotlight younger individuals doing work representative of Dr. King's ideas. This year, student Lauren Senden was recognized for her efforts with the Backpack Food Program which combats childhood hunger.
"I think it's important that we don't talk about people, we talk about ideas," said Senden. "And have those ideas challenged by people with different opinions and challenge you to make your views stronger."
The final award of the night was given to Cambria for being a company which "strives for equal treatment, human rights and non–violence in the workplace" according to the award panel.
Monday night's keynote speaker was Kevin Lindsey of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, who sees this event as a good way acknowledge Dr. King's relevance, especially today.
"We often find ourselves in silos in which we're listening to people with the same opinion," said Lindsey. "If we are able to break out of those silos and listen to others, it moves us towards that beloved community."
This year marks the 50th year since Dr. King's death and his words still remain relevant in American culture.