Newark Celebration 350 kicked off its yearlong spectacular of programs and events honoring the city’s 350th anniversary of its founding in grand fashion at New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Celebration sponsored by PSEG Foundation. On January 15, Newark leaders, community supporters and dignitaries from various faith based, advisory committee and community groups came together at NJPAC to pay tribute to the man and the message in a soul stirring evening of inspiration and empowerment with performances by NJPAC Youth Chorus and the Rev. Stef and Jubilation, whose rendition of “I’m Determined” set the audience to their feet to give praise. Also joining the festivities were City of Newark representatives Marjorie Harris, Gwen Moten and Mildred Crump.

NC350 followsDr. King's message ofpeace and hope

Each year, NJPAC’s MLK Weekend Celebration proudly honors two outstanding Newark leaders whose contributions to the community exemplify the legacy of the late Civil Rights leader and this year’s distinguished recipients were no exception. The Visionary of the Future award was given to Shané Harris, Executive Director of The Prudential Foundation who also serves as Chair of The Newark Trust for Education and President of the Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark. Junius Williams, NC 350 Chairman/Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University-Newark, took to the stage to introduce the recipient of the Steward of the Dream award — and wife — Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams, poet, minister and professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University. John Schreiber, NJPAC President and CEO/NC 350 Programming Chair, also gave a preview of activities planned for MLK Weekend and this year’s Newark Celebration 350. It was a night to remember by all that culminated in a powerful and soaring performance by the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem.

chantel wright, mlk
NJPAC Youth Chorus Directed by Chantel Wright

“As we come together at the start of this momentous 350th anniversary year of our founding during this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Dr. King’s message of peace and hope illuminates our Newark Celebration 350’s mission to inspire civic pride and passion for the city of Newark“ — Junius Williams, NC 350 Chairman

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