From Harford County government:
On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, more than 90 guests attended the annual Joseph Bond/Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Awards Luncheon coordinated by the Harford County Department of Community Services Human Relations Commission. Advanced Eye Care, APG Federal Credit Union and Laurel Bush Family Dentistry – Dr. Mary Teddy Wray were sponsors of the event.
“Joseph Bond and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared a dream, a dream of making their communities the best possible,” Sylvia Bryant, manager of the Harford County Office of Human Relations, said. “They were lights in the communities they touched and it is important to spend this day reflecting on their many accomplishments.”
Mrs. Thelma Bond, wife of the late Mr. Joseph Bond, attended the luncheon held at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace. Elected officials in attendance included Judge Angela Eaves, Harford County Circuit Court; States Attorney Joseph Cassilly; Harford County Council President Richard Slutzky; and Harford County Council members Mike Perrone, Chad Shrodes and Curtis Beulah. Amber Shrodes, director of the county Department of Community Services, spoke on behalf of County Executive Barry Glassman.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Larry S. Gibson, a celebrated author and a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Professor Gibson is the author of “Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice”, a biography depicting Thurgood Marshall’s early life experiences. Thurgood Marshall was the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century winning 29 of 33 cases before the United States Supreme Court. He also played an important role in changing the nation’s attitudes toward racial segregation.
“My mission in the book was not, principally, to write about what Thurgood Marshall did, but what Thurgood Marshall was like,” Gibson said.
The Havre de Grace High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Rick Hauf, performed at the event, which culminated in a presentation to the winners of the 2015 Writing/Video Contest sponsored by the Human Relations Commission. Harford County students were asked to submit an original essay or video in response to Dr. King’s quote, “And so we shall have to do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud with enthusiasm.”
Jake Medvetz, a student from Youth’s Benefit Elementary School, took first place for the elementary school category; Shadiamond Kell of Aberdeen Middle School won the middle school age group; and Nia Hammett of Edgewood High School won for the high school division.
In addition to many accolades from those in attendance, first place winners each received a tablet courtesy of Joe Stamerro at Eastern Wireless, an autographed copy of Professor Gibson’s book, and a proclamation from County Executive Glassman.
The Human Relations Commission is one of five commissions supporting the Department of Community Services, working to bring harmony, equity and equality to the citizens of Harford County. For more information about the commission, please visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/services/humanrelations.