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U.S. Attorney General to help Utah honor legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011
U.S. Attorney General to help Utah honor legacy of
Martin Luther King Jr.
Salt Lake City ¬− The Utah Department of Community and Culture is honored to learn thathear about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to comecoming to Utah to be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr., Human Rights Commission annual lunch on Jan. 13, 2012.
While DCC administration was aware that MLK Commission Chairman Dr. Roderic Land had talked about the idea of inviting Attorney General Holder, DCC was not made aware of Dr. Land’s success in securing Holder’s appearance until today. The news also has appeared to have caught other MLK Commission members off guard.
“There are plenty in Utah’s community that exemplify Dr. King’s vision and have worked hard to realize his dream of racial equality,” said DCC Executive Director Julie Fisher. “That said, we recognize that Mr. Holder is a part of history, being our nation’s first African American Attorney General, and will be honored by his visit.”
“As with any national public official,” Fisher added, “ Attorney General Holder has had to deal withfaced several controversial issues. We would hope these issues can be addressed in a respectful and civil manner in the spirit of Dr. King.”
The State of Utah recognizes the significance of Dr. King’s life and accomplishments and the State Legislature passed S.B. 17 in 1986, which set aside the third Monday in January to observe as the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King., Jr., known as Human Rights Day.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission was created by executive order on July 1, 1991. The Commission consists of 20 members representing the diversity of the State of Utah appointed by the governor to two-year terms. The Commission meets quarterly and coordinates efforts to:
Promote Human Rights Day by:
o Involving all sectors, private and public, in a conscious effort to promote diversity, equity, and human rights.
o Encouraging appropriate ceremonies and activities commemorating the federal holiday which occurs on the third Monday of January each year.
o Providing advice and assistance to governments and private organizations on the observance of this federal holiday.
o Coordinating efforts with Americans of diverse backgrounds and with private organizations on the observance of the holiday.
Promote the principles of human rights by:
o Promoting training in the principles of nonviolence.
o Working diligently to promote education and awareness of the principles of human rights for all.
o Conducting workshops and training in human rights to be utilized by public and private sectors and school systems.
o Partnering with public education to assist schools in promoting appropriate events to honor human rights and the holiday.
o Serving as a resource for state government so it can increase or improve its level of responsiveness to human rights.
DCC will work hard to support Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Dr. Land’s decision to invite Mr. Holder and ensure that Mr. Holder is welcomed with the level of honor that his office deserves.

Information Contact:
Geoffrey Fattah
DCC Public Information Officer
801-538-8809
gfattah@utah.gov

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