Greater Scranton MLK Commission

A Higher Destiny

A Higher Destiny: Fellowship, Honor and Love

The Greater Scranton MLK Commission will host their annual awards dinner on January 14, 2018 in the McIlhenny Ballroom, from 2:30pm - 5:30pm.  The GSMLKC theme for 2018 is A Higher Destiny, from a quote by Dr. King:

Let us be those creative dissenters who will call our nation to A Higher Destiny.  To a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.

The focus for 2018 is raising awareness of the impact media portrayal has on our beliefs about race, people, our relationships and culture.  Guest speakers will include keynote Bayeté Ross Smith, photographer, multi-media artist, filmmaker, and educator from New York: and Andy Mehalshick, investigative reporter and journalist for WBRE Eyewitness News, Wilkes-Barre.


Photographer, multi-media artist, filmmaker, and educator

Keynote Speaker: Bayeté Ross Smith

Bayeté Ross Smith is a photographer, multi-media artist, filmmaker, and educator living in New York City. He is represented by beta pictoris gallery/Maus Contemporary. Bayeté is a member of TED Residency class three and an inaugural POV NY Times embedded media maker collaborating with both institutions while embedded at The NY Times.

Bayeté’s work is in the collections of The Smithsonian Institution,   the Oakland Museum of California, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The Brooklyn Museum. He has exhibited internationally with the Goethe Institute (Ghana), Foto Museum (The Netherlands), and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), among others. His collaborative projects "Along The Way" and "Question Bridge: Black Males" have shown at the 2008 and 2012 Sundance Film Festival, respectively. His work has also been featured at the Sheffield Doc Fest in Sheffield, England and the L.A. Film Festival.

Bayeté's accolades include an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for New Media, a TED Residency, a FSP/Jerome Fellowship, an Embedded Media Maker selection supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, fellowships and residencies at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, the Kala Institute, and the Laundromat Project.

He has also been involved in a variety of community and public art projects with organizations such as the Jerome Foundation, BRIC Arts Media, The Amistad Center, The Laundromat Project, the NYC Parks Department, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Hartford YMCA, and the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency. His work has been published in numerous books and magazines, including Question Bridge: Black Males in America (2015), Dis:Integration: The Splintering of Black America (2010), Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present (2009), Black: A Celebration of A Culture (2005), The Spirit Of Family (2002), SPE Exposure: The Society of Photographic Education Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, and Working Mother Magazine.

In addition to his fine art practice Bayeté is currently the Associate Program Director for the Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), a hospital and school based violence prevention organization in New York that partners with Kings County Hospital. He is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.


MLK Weekend Schedule Coming Soon!


Penn State Worthington campus will host a special workshop on Monday, January 15 featuring LaTida Smith, President and CEO of the Moses Taylor Foundation. Registration information available soon.