Expert on minority education is keynote speaker for King ceremony Sunday

The annual observance Reflections: A Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be held Sunday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. in Milford City Hall auditorium, 110 River Street.

The keynote address will be delivered by Edward Joyner, executive director of the School Development Program at the Yale Child Study Center.

Dr. Joyner has presented throughout the world and trained educators and social policy makers in areas related to child and adolescent development and large scale change. He has appeared on BET Tonight, NBC, and ABC addressing issues related to improving schools, especially for minority children.

He is the author of the award winning Ebony-Jet Guide to Black Student Excellence for which he was invited to the White House.  He is the co-author of six books addressing the education of poor and/or minority children. They include Rallying the Village and Child by Child, two of the best sellers at Columbia Teachers College Press.

He is the lead author of the Field Guide to Comer Schools in Action (Corwin Press, 2005) that describes 35 years of work done by the staff of the School Development Program and its founder, Dr. James P. Comer.

Dr. Joyner has written chapters in several other books addressing issues of large-scale change in diverse communities. His most recent research was a retrospective evaluation of kindergartners who integrated the Shaker Heights school system near Cleveland, Ohio several years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

He has been honored with several other awards in communities throughout the country for his work as an education change agent including an award for outstanding work in education by the Black Congressional Caucus. His favorite quote is taken from the words on one of his intellectual heroes, Dr. Benjamin Mayes who said: “When you are born behind in the race of life, you must run faster.”

Other speakers include U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, State Senator Gayle Slossberg, and Milford's Mayor Benjamin Blake.

Peformers will include the Foran Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Celentano School Chorus and  the Youth Praise Dancers from First Baptist Church.

A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church at 28 North Street. The program is open and free to the public.

This is the 29th year that the Milford Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, a women's service organization, has sponsored the event.

The Milford Chapter, one of six in the state, was chartered May 17, 1986 and has continued to impact the Greater Milford Community in their programmatic endeavors. The chapter has sponsored annual Walk For Health and Hunger Walk-A-Thons to benefit Beth El Shelter and the Clothes Closet in Milford.  The chapter is also a supporter of the Robert McInnis Hospice Suite at Milford Hospital.  The chapter's present program initiative is PROJECT L.I.N.K.S. (Little Individuals Need Kinder Services). The chapter was the recipient of the Eastern Area's 1st place award in Umbrella Programming and second place for their initiatives in international programming.