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Published January 16, 2011, 12:20 AM

Awards set for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Fargo to recognize human relations contributions at Fargo Theatre event
While celebrating the life and mission of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, the city of Fargo will honor those who have made contributions to human relations here in the metro.

By: Wendy Reuer, INFORUM

While celebrating the life and mission of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, the city of Fargo will honor those who have made contributions to human relations here in the metro.

The Fargo Human Relations Award will be given to Taylor Gess, Dwight Schroeder and the FM Community Bike Workshop at a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Monday at the Fargo Theatre.

The annual celebration began in 2001, said Nate Bailly, a planner with the city of Fargo. The night’s theme, “Fearless: Walking in Our Neighbor’s Shoes” will be displayed by elementary students’ artwork along with performances by local musicians and the 100-voice Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Choir.

“I think Martin Luther King kind of made clear that compassion and understanding was something that is necessary in resolving problems and conflict,” Bailly said. “People who are doing the type of work like that are often good candidates for this type of award.”

Like King, Schroeder’s work takes him across many cultures and walks of life. Sherri Ekdom at The Village Family Service Center nominated Schroeder – a financial counselor with The Village – due to his work in community and tenant education. Tenants in public housing with the city of Fargo and Clay County Housing Authority must attend classes, many of which require an interpreter for those people who do not speak English.

Schroeder also works tirelessly to help with illiteracy. Friday nights he can be found teaching English reading to an African couple who relocated to Fargo.

For Gess, a Fargo South High School senior, this award may be the first step in a lifelong passion.

Gess was awarded for her work as director for Homeless and Hungry and the lead planner for the Youth Summit, a convention for youth to meet and secure ways to address the issue of hunger. Gess is also a member of the Intergenerational Committee on Youth (ICY) which holds the mission of youth working with adults to make the city sustainable, retainable and better.

The Fargo Human Relations Award is given to one organization each year.

This year’s recipient, the FM Bike Workshop, is a where volunteers help prepare and distribute used bicycles. At the workshop, a sense of unity and compassion is encouraged.

Sara Watson Curry, a collective member of the FM Community Bike Workshop, said the award is not only an honor to receive but a good reminder to be diligent in continuing a positive environment at the Bike Workshop.

If you go

  • What: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

  • When: 6:30 p.m. Monday

  • Where: Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway

  • Info: Free and open to the public.

  • For more information: E-mail the Fargo Department of Planning and Development at planning@cityoffargo.com.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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