County Executive Dennis Levinson will present the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King awards to two Atlantic County residents during the county's 24th annual MLK Commemorative Birthday Celebration on Friday, January 14 at the County Office Building, 1333 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City.
Dr. Jacqueline McBride of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City native Turiya S. A. Raheem will be recognized for upholding the principles of the slain civil rights activist who envisioned a color blind society and strove to end racial segregation and discrimination through civil disobedience and nonviolence based on the teachings of Gandhi.
“Atlantic County is fortunate to have the benefit of these extraordinary individuals who share a commitment to promoting peace and tolerance among today’s youth so that they may build a society where all people are truly equal,” County Executive Dennis Levinson stated.
Dr. McBride is the founder of Love, Peace and Prosperity International and the Atlantic County chapter of "A Season for Nonviolence" which serve to heal, transform and empower people. In addition to her efforts to champion for the rights of all persons, she was the first female emergency manager in New Jersey and currently serves as a Disaster Assistance Reservist for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She is also the founder and past president of the Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame, and co-founder and past president of the Atlantic County Advisory Commission on Women. In 2007 she established the Peacemaker Awards that honor individuals who promote peace,nonviolence and social justice. A year later she sponsored aPeace Summit at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. And in 2009 she founded The King's Daughter program to help young women attain self confidence and build the self esteem necessary to make positive life decisions. She is a highly esteemed member of numerous professional and civic organizations.
Ms. Turiya is a writer, educator and community volunteer. She is the self-published author of "Growing Up in the Other Atlantic City: Wash's and the Northside," that shares her family's experiences living and working in Atlantic City and related historical events. Raheem's grandparents, Clifton and Alma Washington, opened Wash's sandwich shop on North Kentucky Avenue in 1937. Raheem graduated from Atlantic City High School where she was senior class president in 1972. She earned a B.A. in the Sociology of Communications and worked briefly as a copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Washington Post newspapers before becoming a certified English teacher. She currently teaches at Atlantic Cape Community College. She volunteers with Bridges, a local interfaith group, and Sisters Together Against Racism (S.T.A.R.), an affiliation of the American Association of University Women. She also contributes to a writing workshop for youth at the Atlantic City Public Library.
The program will also feature a keynote address from Nelson Johnson, an Atlantic County Superior Court judge, historian and author of "The Boardwalk Empire" and "The Northside: African Americans and the Creation of Atlantic City." The Hammonton resident's latest book details the extraordinary impact of Africian Americans on the city's history from the early 19th century to its heyday. "The Northside" was recently selected by Library Journal.com as a Black History Month sneak peek and “The Boardwalk Empire” was adapted as an HBO series that has been nominated for a Golden Globe.