2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
This year at our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration we will gather to consider MLK's legacy, hear his message with fresh ears, and accept his prophetic call to resist injustice in the forms it presents itself as we commit to work for justice in the places we find ourselves.
We are delighted to announce this year our celebration will include a few additional activities.
- From 4:00-5:15 pm on Monday, January 15th, Anne Carter will moderate a panel discussion entitled “Speaking Up and Speaking Out: Challenging Systemic Racism in Cedar Rapids."
- Panelists: Jasmine Almoayed, Rod Dooley, Betty Kiboko, Brian Pingel, and Dr. Ruth White.
- Starting at 5:30 pm, we will have a meal, and all are invited to share in this time of fellowship around common tables.
- At 6:30 pm, we will gather for our annual celebration with music from area choirs, keynote speaker Stacey Walker will address systemic racism in Cedar Rapids, and the recipient of the annual "Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris 'Who Is My Neighbor' Award" will be awarded for diligently working for justice in Linn County.
Stacey Walker's Biography
Stacey Walker is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He grew up on the southeast side of town and attended Washington High School. He went on to study Political Science at the University of Iowa.
After college, he helped launch the LBA Foundation, an education-based nonprofit that works to help at-risk students stay on course to graduation.
Walker later moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Case Foundation, a family organization dedicated to empowering people and ideas that can change the world.
Walker was also able to work directly with AOL founder and Venture Capitalist Steve Case who served on the President’s Council for Jobs and Economic Competitiveness. Walker played a role in Steve Case’s effort to revitalize America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through the Startup America Partnership and President Obama’s signature economic legislation, the JOBS Act.
While in Washington, D.C., Stacey served as a teaching assistant under Ambassador J. Douglas Holladay who taught a leadership seminar to executive MBA students at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Prior to being elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors – as the first African American to ever hold the position – Stacey served as the Chief of Staff for Patel Endeavors and Hawkeye Hotels. In this role, he helped execute on growth and development strategy while also managing communications for the company and its subsidiaries. Through his involvement with Patel Endeavors, he has worked alongside the principals of Built By Iowa, a private equity firm that focuses on mentoring and growing Iowa-based startups.
Throughout his career, Walker has worked for several political campaigns at the congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential level. He continues to serve as a political activist and writer, with a portfolio of work published in Little Village Magazine, Quartz Magazine, The Washington Post’s The Root, among others.
Walker served as Co-chair of the Safe, Equitable, and Thriving Communities Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional partnership between the City of Cedar Rapids, the Cedar Rapids School District, and Linn County to address systemic poverty and gun violence among other priorities. He is a board member to the Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success and NewBo City Market. In addition to serving as the county’s legislative liaison to Iowa’s General Assembly, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Linn County Public Health Department, the Public Art Commission, the Workforce Development CEO Board, the Large Investor Board of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, and he represents Linn County on the National Association of Counties' (NACo) Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee. Walker received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa in 2010.