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The award-winning newspaper of Anne Arundel Community College.

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The award-winning newspaper of Anne Arundel Community College.

Campus Current

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Committee cancels event honoring MLK

Photo courtesy of Eugene Peterson
The Anne Arundel County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Committee canceled its annual breakfast. Shown, committee Chair Eugene Peterson.

The Anne Arundel County committee that hosts an annual breakfast in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. canceled the event for 2024.

AACC has participated in the event since the nonprofit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Committee started it 42 years ago, according to committee Chair Eugene Peterson. 

The event, headed by volunteers and funded by attendees, was canceled after the committee was unable to sell enough $50 tickets in time to make the $4,000-plus down payment for the breakfast at Live! Casino, Peterson added. 

“I’m disappointed, but you have to face the realities of the situation,” Peterson said. “Maybe not having the breakfast will be a wake-up call to those in the community who just assume these 

things are going to happen.”

AACC has used the breakfast to announce the winners of the college’s Zeitgeist award, which is dedicated to faculty and staff who support students of diverse backgrounds. 

The winners of the annual Zeitgeist award for 2024 are communications professor April Copes and computer information systems professor Cedric Harris. 

According to Peterson, the committee determined it was not possible to find an alternative venue in time for the event.

“I didn’t want to have a last-minute scramble,” Peterson said.

Until several years ago, AACC hosted the event on campus, Peterson said.

Peterson said the committee will meet with community groups to discuss the future of the breakfast.

“We’ll make a community decision about whether or not we want to continue to support the [annual] tradition,” Peterson said. “I think that this is going to take the community coming together and figuring out how best to keep the tradition going.”

First-year paralegal studies student Malina Johnston said the event should include students as organizers if it goes forward.

“It’s something that’s been going on for a long time and there’s students actively participating,” Johnston said. “Something else should be in place.”

According to Johnston, her experience as an American wouldn’t be the same without Martin Luther King Jr.

“I’m mixed, Black and white,” Johnston said. “So my experience in America would be very different now if not for, you know, his movement and his words and his actions.”

Johnston added: “Anything that promotes diversity, that promotes change and the way-makers that made it possible, we need to remember that.”

Second-year culinary arts student Nickala Daley said there is “always a way” to make events happen.

“As an event planner myself, you can always put something together,” Daley said. “They could have done better.”

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    Martha PaskinsJan 20, 2024 at 10:23 AM

    Public relations in promoting this community event via social media could had been an issue in the 2024 event planning.