The Spirit of Dr. King Lives On
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, we celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reflecting on his life and work, I was reminded of the challenges that democracy poses to us and the delicacy of liberty. Dr. King's life, and, unfortunately, his vicious murder, should remind all of us that we must continually work and, if necessary, fight, to secure and protect our freedoms. Dr. King, in his courage to act, his willingness to meet challenges, and his ability to achieve, embodied all that is good and true in that battle for liberty.
The spirit of Dr. King lives on in many of the citizens in communities throughout our nation. It lives on in the people whose actions reflect the spirit of resolve and achievement that will help move our country into the 21st century. In particular, several distinguished individuals from Indiana's First Congressional District were recognized during the 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Monday, January 19, 1998, at the Gary Genesis Center in Gary, Indiana. In the past year, these individuals have, in their own ways, acted with courage, met challenges, and used their abilities to reach goals and enhance their communities.
Lake County Prosecutor, the Honorable Bernard Carter, was honored with the 1998 "Marcher's Award" for his contributions to the struggle for equality of civil rights. As the first African-American County Prosecutor in the State of Indiana, Bernie has been an outstanding professional in his fight for the civil rights of all minorities and women. He has been a role model for our young people and an outspoken and issue-oriented leader in the justice system. In addition, Mr. Curtis Strong received the 1998 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Drum Major Award" for his outstanding contributions to fighting segregation. Curtis has held leadership roles with both the NAACP and the Fair Share Organization, in which he has demonstrated against racial injustices in housing, education, employment, and police brutality. Curtis was also a top labor union official who fought for minority inclusion in union leadership, skilled crafts jobs, and seniority appreciation. Both Bernard Carter and Curtis Strong should be applauded for their important civil rights efforts in Northwest Indiana.
I would also like to recognize the following Tolleston Junior High School students: Janne' Bryant, Antoinette Correa, Tiffany Finch, Brandi Frith, Lakisha Girder, Leyona Greer, Damara Hamlin, Ayonna Hood, Leah Johnson, Jacleen Joiner, Candice Jones, Taariq Muhammad, Ayashia Muhammad, Ilisha Muhammad, Reneda Pryor, Whitney Sullivan, David Suggs, Courtney Williams, and Joey Willis. These distinguished students are members of the Tolleston Junior High School Spell Bowl Team, which won the 1997 Indiana State Bowl Championship in spelling. In addition, the following students from Northwest Indiana won the 1997 "I Have A Dream" Youth Assembly essay contest this past July in Little Rock, Arkansas: Dayna Maria Ingram, of West Side High School; Wesley Adam Gordon, of St. Michael School; Katherine R. Rzepka, of Andrean High School; Tavetta Pulliam, of Horace Mann High School; and Daniel J. Davis, of Valparaiso High School.
The accomplishments of these outstanding individuals are a reflection of their hard work and dedication to scholarship. Their scholastic effort and rigorous approach to learning have made them the best in the State and in the Nation. They have also brought pride to themselves, their families, their schools and their communities. Their success is also a credit to the outstanding ability and leadership of their teachers. In particular, Margaret Hymes and Charles Wells should be commended for the devotion they have demonstrated as coaches for the Tolleston Junior High Spell Bowl Team.
Though very different in nature, the achievement of all these individuals reflects many of the same attributes that Dr. King possessed, as well as the values he espoused. Like Dr. King, these individuals saw challenges and rose to the occasion. They set goals and worked to achieve them. Mr. Speaker, I urge you and my other colleagues to join me in commending their initiative, resolve, and dedication.