DECATUR, Ga. — Four distinguished panelists will participate in a discussion about diversity and cooperation at DeKalb County’s 34th annual birthday celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

The program, “Together We Win: A Conversation on Cultural Diversity in DeKalb,” will be held Friday, Jan. 12, at 11:30 a.m., in the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.

“Dr. King emphasized the importance of human understanding and the participants in this year’s tribute share his vision of collaborating, communicating and listening to diverse communities,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said. “Additionally, each panelist has contributed to creating a more brotherly society similar to King’s Beloved Community where all citizens can share in the progress of the county.”

Panelists include:

·      Samia Abdulle, a community organizer and dialogue facilitator. Her work has focused on building and strengthening relationships with diverse communities throughout DeKalb County including the city of Clarkston, where more than 100 languages are spoken and 50 percent of the residents are foreign-born. She currently serves as the North American coordinator for Numbi Arts and sits on the DeKalb County School District Advisory Council and the boards for Children's Interfaith Movement and Joe Beasley Foundation.

Victoria Chacón, the publisher of La Visión Newspaper, one of the largest print community publications owned and managed by a Latino in Georgia. Published for nearly 20 years, La Visión Newspaper is distributed on Fridays at 1,500 distribution points, and the print version reaches more than 35,000 readers every week. 

  • Charlene Fang, a founding member of the Taiwanese American Women’s Club and the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce. A native of Taiwan, Fang immigrated to the United States in 1990. She is the vice president of the North Decatur Lions Club and currently serves on the boards of the Interfaith Outreach Home, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Atlanta Citizens Academy and the DeKalb Board of Assessors.
  • Ahmed Hassan, became the first former refugee and new immigrant to take elective office in the city of Clarkston. During his term, more than 35 new ordinances and 74 new resolutions have been passed including the institution of fair hiring practices, setting the minimum wage at $15 an hour and the adoption of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement non-detainer policy.

Special guest speaker Judge Penny Brown Reynolds will provide the blueprint for the development of the Beloved Community in DeKalb County. The event will also honor the family of Nathaniel Mosby, a former DeKalb County commissioner and civil rights leader, and Robert and Barbara Blazer, owners of Your DeKalb Farmers Market. WSB-TV anchor and reporter Sophia Choi will serve as the panel moderator.  

This year’s event marks the 50th anniversary of King’s death and the 34th consecutive year DeKalb will host the ceremony honoring his life and legacy. For more information, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov.   

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