COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County’s 38th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Holiday Observance Jan. 15 spotlighted award winners and featured a message based on King’s goal to create a “beloved community mindset.”
Keynote speaker was James Wilson, a Newton County native and Georgia State University student who is a student assistant in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
Wilson said obstacles to creating such a “beloved community mindset” exist but must be overcome by building it on “love.”
The 2023 winners included:
• I Have A Dream Award: Grace United Methodist Church;
The nominee must have given at least two years of service to the Newton County community; must be a registered voter; be affiliated with a church, synagogue or worship center; made contributions to the community that are nonprofit and visible to the community; made nondiscriminatory contributions; and “models a spirit of peace and unity,” will initiate and support “change,” have a “humble spirit,” be “steadfast in his or her convictions” and “fosters and supports education on all levels.”
• Trailblazer Award: Jackie Smith.
The nominee must have been a longtime Newton County resident, a registered voter, and “a creator of change in the community and follow through to implementation.”
The “change facilitated by the nominee must be a benefit to the community”; the nominee “must be resourceful and committed to all aspects of the county,” and “must foster a cohesive spirit of peace, unity, diversity and love.”
• Young Dreamer Award: Newton County students Alainah Jackson, Hailey Quinn and Chiara Chie.
The nominee must have been a Newton County resident enrolled in one of the county’s public schools; must be in grades kindergarten through 12; must have demonstrated interest “in fostering peace, unity, diversity and love among his or her peers”; and must have “made a difference in the lives of others who may have otherwise been overlooked, ignored or disadvantaged.”
To watch the event on YouTube, visit: https://youtu.be/Wr6Zh1SWISY.