Commissioner Emery S. Lee of Louisville presented the Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award for 2005 on behalf of the Martin Luther King, Jr., State Commission to Diane Harris on Wednesday, January 12, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebration held at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort. The award was given posthumously and presented to her family at the celebration.
Harris's sister Darlene Jackson said, “Diane’s motto was ‘that if I can help somebody, just one body, then my life will not have been in vain.’ She lived it every day.”
Harris, a Versailles native, worked in state government for 10 years, including the Governor's Office of Constituent Services, Department for Local Government, and the Department of Transportation. She served on the commission from January 2001 until her death in 2004.
Now in its fourth year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award has been given by the commission to a member of the community who has exemplified Dr. King’s principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change. Previous winners of the MLK Citizenship Award include George Logan of Lexington, Anna Patterson of Frankfort and Amo Lucille Powell Peters of Maysville.
Speakers at the celebration included Governor Ernie Fletcher, Kentucky Education Secretary Virginia G. Fox. and Dr. Mary Evans Sias, president of Kentucky State University.
The Martin Luther King, Jr., State Commission sponsors the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Celebration. The commission is an agency in the Kentucky Education Cabinet. Founded in August 1992, the mission of the Martin Luther King, Jr., State Commission is to promote the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by the late civil rights leader.
Commission members include: Alvin Wayne Farris, Winchester; Katherine C. Hart, Russellville; Nang-Ping White, Hopkinsville; Beulah L. Bridgewaters, Louisville; Gayle S. Graham, Louisville; Henry Moore Humphrey, Louisville; Bishop Michael Ford, Prospect; Emery S. Lee, Louisville; Yvette Smith, Frankfort; and Helen Le Ascani, Hazard. The commission, appointed by the Governor, focuses on Dr. King's dream for all Americans to experience full equality, economic justice, and interracial harmony. For more information about the commission, visit http://www.educationcabinet.ky.gov/departments/mlkcommission.htm or call (502) 564-6606, ext. 128.