Campus & Community

Sanders to speak at King celebration Jan. 11

Symone Sanders, a democratic strategist and CNN political analyst, will be the keynote speaker at Palm Beach State College’s 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Jan. 11. During the celebration, the College will honor four people and an organization for their service and leadership in the community.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. at the Duncan Theatre on the Lake Worth campus, 4200 Congress Ave. It is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to RSVP.

Sanders champions inclusivity, encouraging individuals to embrace diverse voices and perspectives in the pursuit of building and extending strong communities that will help change the world. She rose to prominence as the press secretary for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. At 25, she demonstrated an uncanny command of the issues, earning her a place in history as the youngest presidential press secretary on record.

A communicator with a passion for policy and juvenile justice reform, she is the immediate past chair of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s Emerging Leaders Committee and former member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. Through her involvement with CJJ and the FACJJ, she worked to raise the profile of young voices in the fight for juvenile justice reform and bring millennial perspectives to policy conversations.

This year’s recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award are:

  • Lynne Gassant (Alumni), who in 2012 founded Scholar Career Coaching, a nonprofit educational organization that assists South Florida high school students, particularly ESL students in Title 1 schools, with college readiness, career planning, financial literacy and life skills through its afterschool mentoring services.
  • Christian Allen (Student), former president of Future Leaders United for Change, a youth council that serves as the voice of today’s Palm Beach County youth and sets the stage for change. He has served for two years as the male representative on the Birth to 22: United for Brighter Futures Steering Committee. Birth to 22 is a collaborative effort between several government entities and stakeholders within Palm Beach County whose focus is to improve the lives of youth from birth to 22 years old.
  • Dr. Louise Aurélien (Faculty/Staff), director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at PBSC, who has been instrumental in the growth of the program designed for registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma. She has been in the nursing profession for over 25 years and volunteers as an international/visiting nursing faculty at a university in her native Haiti. She was instrumental in the formation/training of the first-ever graduating class of family nurse practitioners in Haiti.
  • James Green (Individual), director of the Palm Beach County Community Services Department, who leads the county’s efforts in an array of programs for senior citizens, veterans, low-income residents and the farmworker population. As the former director of the Outreach and Community Programming division of the county’s Youth Services Department, he served as a lead strategist in the development of a cradle-to-career countywide youth master plan called Birth to 22: United for Brighter Futures.
  • League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County (Organization), which was founded in West Palm Beach in 1953 and eventually grew into a county league, which is now the third largest league in the United States. Like the national group, which was founded in 1920, the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County has fought to improve systems of government and has worked tirelessly to ensure that people have a free role in making democracy work.

Visit for more information about the honorees and the celebration.

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