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(February 22, 2022 4:19 PM) Jackson College today announced Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, senior vice president for community health and equity and chief wellness and diversity officer for Henry Ford Health System, will be the keynote speaker for the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, rescheduled for March 19.

Wisdom has been a board-certified emergency medicine physician for 30 years and chair of the Gail and Lois Warden Endowment on Multicultural Health. She provides strong leadership in diversity, population health, and the improvement of the health of those disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes.

In 2003, Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Wisdom the nation’s first state-level surgeon general. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Wisdom to serve on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. She focuses on health care equity, infant mortality/maternal and child health, chronic disease, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating habits, and tobacco use. She founded the award-winning program African American Initiative for Male Health Improvement and the Women-Inspired Neighborhood Network: Detroit to reduce infant mortality. As Michigan Surgeon General, she founded the nationally known Generation with Promise program, a youth leadership empowerment, nutrition education and physical activity promotion effort now housed at Henry Ford. Under Wisdom’s leadership, the health system has received numerous awards for its equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. Most recently, former Secretary Alex Azar appointed her to the Advisory Committee on Minority Health.

The College’s MLK Celebration was postponed until March 19 due to the high numbers of COVID-19 cases in January. This year’s theme is “The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.: Purpose, Commitment, Justice,” and will be held in the Victor Cuisse Fieldhouse at 4:30 p.m. Wisdom will speak instead of Paula Autry, who recently left Henry Ford Health System for a career change. The event will include the presentation of the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Service Award to Monica Pierce, a longtime educator and Jackson resident. In addition, local performer Larry Sumner will provide musical entertainment for the evening.

Tickets are still available; the cost is $35 for general admission and $25 for youth and senior citizens. Tickets are available from the Potter Center Box Office at 517.796.8600 or online at jccmi.edu/mlk22/. Masks are required on campus; please check the College’s COVID-19 protocols at https://covid-19.1.jccmi.edu/.

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