Greater Scranton MLK Commission
The MARCH continues: A New Era in Peaceful Activism
- The Community Celebration and Awards Dinner has been postponed due to weather. The new date and time are Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 1:00PM.
- Due to the forecast of frigid temperatures, the annual Greater Scranton MLK Commission March to the Courthouse scheduled for Monday, January 21 has been canceled. No new date has been selected as of this time.
The Greater Scranton MLK Commission will host their annual community celebration and awards dinner on February 24, 2019 in the McIlhenny Ballroom, from 1:00pm - 4:30pm.
Our focus is to highlight Dr. King’s principle of facilitating cultural and legislative change using non-violent means - a message that seems to have been lost on many as we witness the violent protest incidents in our country. However, we also see evidence of how powerful peaceful protest can be when national discussions stem from players kneeling during our national anthem, or thousands gather at the Capitol to march in solidarity, or a single woman utters “me too”.
The Commission is excited to welcome Andrew Aydin, creator, author, Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Winner (2014, 2017), and digital media advisor to U.S. Congressman John Lewis; featured guest speaker is Joel B. Kemp, Ph.D., assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at The University of Scranton.
Keynote Speaker: Andrew Aydin
ANDREW AYDIN is creator and co-author of the graphic memoir series, MARCH, which chronicles the life of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. Co-authored with Rep. Lewis and illustrated by Nate Powell, MARCH is the first comics work to ever win the National Book Award. The Washington Post heralded the completion of the MARCH trilogy, saying, "The closest American peer, I've found, to Maus has arrived."
An Atlanta native, Andrew was raised by a single mother, and grew up reading comic books. After college, he took a job with Congressman Lewis. In 2008, Congressman Lewis mentioned to Andrew the 1957 comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story and the role it played in the early days of the civil rights movement. Recognizing the potential for a comic on Congressman Lewis' life to inspire young people, Andrew urged him to write a comic about his time in the movement, but Congressman Lewis had one condition: that Andrew write it with him. Collaborating with artist Nate Powell, the MARCH trilogy was born in 2013.
Today, Andrew serves as Digital Director & Policy Advisor to Congressman Lewis in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford and Georgetown University in Washington, Andrew wrote his master’s thesis on the history and impact of Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story. The best-selling graphic novels March: Book One, March: Book Two, and March: Book Three are taught in middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the country. Andrew often speaks at schools and universities, participates
in reading programs with incarcerated youth, serves as a national project advisor to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for “The Great Stories Club (GSC): Reading and Discussion for At-Risk Youth”, has taught classes on script writing at the Smithsonian, and has appeared as a guest on the Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, NPR, CNN, the BBC and many other outlets.
Andrew's other works include the 2016 X-Files Annual (IDW), the 2016 CBLDF Annual Liberty (Image), and Bitch Planet: Triple Feature (Image), as well as articles for the Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing and the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance Magazine.
Guest Speaker: Joel B. Kemp, JD, Ph.D.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Joel B. Kemp attended Harvard College where he earned his A.B. magna cum laude in Religion and American History in 1997. His undergraduate thesis examining Negro Spirituals as reflective of a biblically based exilic motif was awarded summa cum laude status. Dr. Kemp went on to attend Harvard Law School, earning his J.D. in 2000. While attending law school, he was licensed as a minister in the American Baptist Churches. Additionally, Dr. Kemp worked as an attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in their corporate and litigation departments and is a former member of the Board of Directors of Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. – a Massachusetts nonprofit focusing upon the rehabilitation of inner-city youth with DYS and/or DSS (DCF) involvement. After leaving the law firm, Dr. Kemp continued his legal practice as corporate counsel for Entegrity, LLC. Dr. Kemp enrolled at Andover Newton Theological School in January 2006, where he received a M.Div. in 2010. After completing his M. Div., Dr. Kemp earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at Boston College in 2017. His research focuses on the Old Testament, especially the Prophets, Biblical Law, and the History of Judah and Identity Development. Dr. Kemp’s other scholarly pursuits include African-American appropriations of Scripture, the relationship between race, religion, and law within American society, and the use of the Bible in popular culture.
Dr. Kemp and his wife Dr. Gail Nia (King) Kemp, who earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Boston University (2018), serve as founding Board members and volunteer program consultants for Cornerstone Ministries Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit that works with churches, community-based organizations, and schools to help address the intellectual, socio-emotional, and spiritual needs of students of color. Currently, Dr. Kemp is an Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Scranton.