You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Ohio House budget proposal would eliminate Municipal Clerk’s office

Speaker: MLK celebrations need meaning

Hundreds turn out for sold-out Springfield event.

Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday is a time to celebrate but also a time to rethink democracy, according to a former city staff manager.

Selena Singletary, the former Director of Human Relations, Housing and Neighborhood Services who worked for the city for 31 years, offered the keynote speaker to 275 people at the 31st annual MLK Jr. commemoration, held Friday at Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center.

Singletary, a Wittenberg University graduate, retired in 2006. During her tenure, Singletary helped create programs such as Minority Business Development, neighborhood programs, Fair Housing, Mediation and Housing Rehabilitation.

For over 20 years, Singletary has served on the board of the national Paul J. Aicher Foundation, also known as Everyday Democracy, which promotes study circles to talk about race and later 9-11. These talks led to CultureFest and to the creation of the city’s Global Education and Peace Network.

Singletary said King’s birthday is a reason to celebrate but should also have a purpose.

“There’s still work to be done,” Singletary said. “The celebration must have some meaning.”

Last year, Singletary volunteered to register voters. She was surprised at the number of people who weren’t excited about the election because they felt legislators weren’t aware of their needs.

“I wondered: Is there a feeling of disconnect?” Singletary asked.

At a later Everyday Democracy meeting, Singletary said they spoke of topics like compulsory voting and civic engagement and education among youth as ways to spark interest among voters.

“There is a need to rethink democracy and re-imagine democracy as self-governance rather than self-government,” Singletary said.

She mentioned the Civil Rights Movement’s Montgomery Bus Boycott as an example of the value of mass meetings of individuals, which Dr. King recognized as an important part of society.

She urged participation in study circles and volunteerism in organizations to help produce meaningful change.

“Let us not only celebrate the birth of Dr. King, let us work to assure that his dream and legacy lives on,” Singletary said.

Clark State Community College President Dr. Karen Rafinski, who will retire this summer, was awarded the MLK Leadership Award.

The SonShine Club, an after-school program designed to bring the message of Jesus to elementary school students, was awarded the Outstanding Creative Youth Programming Award. The program was created by Urban Light Ministries’ Dr. Eli Williams 20 years ago and now has after-school groups at 12 local schools led by volunteers from churches and the Salvation Army.

The program was presented by the city’s Human Relations Board and Clark State.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Pit bull breaks from chain, mauls man to death
Pit bull breaks from chain, mauls man to death

A man was mauled to death Tuesday in Dayton by a pit bull, authorities said.  Dayton police were waiting Tuesday morning for a search warrant so they could enter a house near where the dogs were found.  >> Read more trending news  Three dogs were removed from the house after a dog fatally mauled a man who was walking in an...
New Carlisle dedicates new library wing in memory of Joan Steinlage
New Carlisle dedicates new library wing in memory of Joan Steinlage

When Joan Steinlage took her little girls to the old New Carlisle Public Library on the corner of Main and Madison streets, she wanted to instill in them a love of reading. She accomplished that and she also took the first steps in a lifelong commitment that would change New Carlisle forever. With her characteristic enthusiasm this mother got involved...
WWI 100 years later: Australians mark ANZAC Day at Air Force museum
WWI 100 years later: Australians mark ANZAC Day at Air Force museum

One by one, they laid red poppies next to three wreaths to remember the fallen of Australia and New Zealand. In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, about 100 people, some wearing the uniforms of foreign militaries marked ANZAC Day, commemorating the first major battle Australian and New Zealand troops fought in...
Girl who lost police officer dad secretly buys officer’s meal
Girl who lost police officer dad secretly buys officer’s meal

An 8-year-old New Jersey girl is touching hearts across the country after she secretly paid for the dinner of a police officer she encountered in a restaurant.  Mikayla Raji and her mother, Mimi Raji, were eating in a restaurant in Helmetta Friday night when Jamesburg police Officer Joseph Quinn stopped in to pick up his own meal, according...
Erin Moran’s cause of death released, co-star Scott Baio responds to tabloids
Erin Moran’s cause of death released, co-star Scott Baio responds to tabloids

  “Happy Days” star Erin Moran most likely died from complications of cancer. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that a “joint investigation into Moran’s death was conducted” and “a subsequent autopsy revealed she likely succumbed to complications of stage 4 cancer,” TMZ reported...
More Stories