Emory University president Claire Sterk, left, and former state Sen. Eugene Walker will be honored with the Nathaniel Mosby Humanitarian Award during DeKalb County's upcoming MLK Day celebration. SPECIAL PHOTOS

DeKalb MLK celebration will honor Emory president, former legislator

DeKalb will honor two high-profile community leaders during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

Emory University president Claire Sterk and Eugene Walker, a former state senator and DeKalb school board chairman, will both be honored with the Nathaniel Mosby Humanitarian Award. Officials said the award celebrates recipients’ “commitment to tireless community service and outstanding dedication to being an agent for positive change.”

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Sterk was tapped to leader Emory University in 2016, becoming its first woman president. She is also a professor of public health and is internationally known for her work on addiction and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS.

In addition to his time on the county education board, Walker represented District 43 as a state senator from 1984 to 1992, becoming the first African-American to serve as majority whip. He also served a four-year stint as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

This year’s DeKalb County MLK celebration has been dubbed “King’s 2020 Vision: The Beloved Community -- The Fierce Urgency of Now.”  It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17., in the Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur. 

The program is open to the public. 

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