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.


Investigative Reporter, Eyewitness News

Guest Speaker: Andy Mehalshick

Andy Mehalshick is the lead member of the Eyewitness News I-Team. Andy started his broadcast journalism career in 1979 at Wilkes University where he received a scholarship to run the college radio station. He began reporting at the Hazleton Area Radio Station WQEQ-EXPX in 1982 working his way up to News Director - at the same time he reported for an area newspaper. He was hired by WBRE in 1985 and has performed duties in virtually all the positions in the Newsroom including: Anchor, Producer, Assigment Desk as well as Investigative Reporting.

Andy has won numerous journalism awards - including Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasting Awards - an Emmy Nomination for his coverage of the Penn State Child Sex Scandal.

Andy is very involved in the community and has taken part in numerous fund-raising events including serving as host for the American Cancer Society and Help Hand Telethons since 1985. One of his missions is to protect children and has presented his award winning "Stranger Danger Program" to thousands of kids since 1994.

He is a native of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Purchase Tickets for Dinner


Choose ticket quantity and click 'Buy Now' button above . On PayPal page, scroll down and click 'Pay with Debit  or  Credit Card' to pay as a guest. Or, you may use your PayPal account to purchase tickets.

Questions:  Call Jennifer Pennington 570-903-9450 or email, or Full table reservations qualify for a free quarter page ad in the dinner program. all ads must be submitted by January 8, 2018.


MLK Weekend Schedule


Monday, January 15, 2018

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM       Celebration Luncheon and Discussion

Penn State Worthington Scranton is hosting their third annual MLK Celebration Luncheon and Award presentation followed by a day of service.  Speaker: LaTida Smith, President and CEO of Moses Taylor Foundation.  The View Café – Study Learning Center FREE to the public, please RSVP to  or call (570) 963-2690.