It is always inspiring to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. I was particularly excited to celebrate his birthday at this morning’s Barristers Association of Philadelphia Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Memorial Breakfast, where two members of the Temple Law School family were honored. Albert S Dandridge III, a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal and Lewis, LLP, received the Honorable William F. Hall Award. Bennett Lomax and The Lomax Companies received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Outstanding Service to the Community. I was then honored to present the Keynote Address at the Barristers’ service project at the Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter High School. I was particularly excited to discover that I was speaking to a group of students who otherwise had the day off. They were present to participate in a program sponsored by the Barristers to give them instructions and an opportunity to participate in the art of public speaking. Yet another highlight came in meeting two of the volunteer Instructors, Temple Law students Danielle Newsome, a second-year, and Ashley Myers, a first-year, as they were leading the students in an oral presentation exercise.
Day classes were cancelled at the law school so that members of our community could participate in service projects. In addition to the many individually chosen activities in which members of our community participated, we had two organized events this year. About 60 people attended our annual training for the IRS’ VITA program, through which Temple Law students, faculty, and staff volunteer to help low income taxpayers prepare their annual income tax returns, often enabling them to obtain substantial (and much needed) refunds without being exposed to predatory or unlawful tax preparation services. Another 25 or so participated in a cleanup project at the John F. Street Community Center, part of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Richard Allen Homes development, that was organized by the Office of Public Interest Programs, Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and Student Public Interest Network (SPIN). I am both proud of and grateful for the service of everyone who marked Dr. King’s birthday in these and other meaningful ways.
Click here for coverage of the Temple Law School sponsored events.