Former U.S. Ambassador Gadsden to receive Gantt Triumph Award at MLK service

Former U.S. Ambassador James Gadsden

Former U.S. Ambassador James Gadsden will be the keynote speaker and the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award recipient at the 43rd annual MLK Ecumenical Service, organizers announced Monday.

Gadsden, a Charleston native, was an ambassador to Iceland and also served in Budapest and Paris. He is senior counselor for economic affairs at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, N.J.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, will introduce Gadsden and present him with the award. Gadsden was a student in Clyburn's history class at Charles A. Brown High School in the 1960s. Gadsden went on to graduate from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in economics and earned advanced degrees from Stanford University and Princeton University.

The ecumenical service is at 4 p.m. Jan. 18 at Morris Street Baptist Church at 25 Morris St.

In another MLK celebration event, Arnold Donald, chief executive officer of Carnival Corp., will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual MLK Business and Professional Breakfast. The breakfast typically draws 700 corporate and civic leaders, according to Mayor Joe Riley, the honorary chairman. It's set for 7:30 a.m. Jan. 20 at the Charleston Marriott Hotel.

Reservations are required and can be made through the YWCA at 722-1644 or

The local MLK Celebration also includes:

A Diversity Celebration at 6 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Felix Davis Community Center (tickets are $30).

Worship services at area churches Jan. 11.

"Remembering the Civil Rights Movement from the Black and Jewish Perspective" panel discussion at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at Brith Sholom Beth Israel at 182 Rutledge Ave.

A parade from Burke High School to Marion Square at 11 a.m. Jan. 19. Baker Motor Co. President Tommy Baker is grand marshal. WCBD-TV will televise it.

Youth Speakout and Poetry Slam at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the College of Charleston Science Auditorium at 202 Calhoun St.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.