The University of Hartford will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17, with an inspirational program of music and reflections commemorating the life and legacy of the civil rights leader. The program, themed “The Beloved Community,” will take place at 11 a.m. in Lincoln Theater. The event is free and open to all.
The keynote speaker will be Jennifer Smith Turner, who in 2007 was named the first chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Smith Turner is a highly regarded civic leader with extensive experience in nonprofit, government and corporate sectors.
The event will feature vocal performances by students from the Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, the University of Hartford Magnet School, and The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Winners at the university, high-school, and elementary levels of the 2011 “Becoming a Beloved Community” essay contest will be recognized. The winning essays will be published in the event program.
To demonstrate commitment to Dr. King’s dream of being a “beloved community,” attendees are invited to bring donations of new men’s socks, gloves, hats, scarves, or travel-sized toiletries, which will be given to those who participate in the Church Street Eats program at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, a program run by University alumna Rose Fichera-Eagen ’63, M’85.
Smith Turner is CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, the largest organization in the state serving girls– providing over 65,000 girls and adults with opportunities and experiences that develop their potential and empower them with self-confidence and leadership skills to improve their lives and the world around them.
Prior to the Girl Scouts, she was President/CEO of Smith & Associates LLC, a company that specializes in assisting organizations in achieving their strategic and operational potential by providing management consulting, strategic planning, and executive coaching.
Smith Turner is the former deputy commissioner for the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, an appointment made by Governor M. Jodi Rell. During her time as deputy commissioner, she is credited with re-energizing the state’s industry cluster initiative to enhance the state’s economic competitiveness and for bringing affordable housing to the forefront of the state’s economic agenda.