Award-winning Author, Recording Artist To Headline Aurora's MLK Celebration January 20th

AURORA, IL - Political analyst and author April Ryan and Grammy Award-winning recording artist and pastor Smokie Norful will headline Aurora’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ceremony next month. The program will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 20, 2020 at Waubonsie Valley High School, 2950 Ogden Ave. With the theme ‘From Dreams to Visions to Victory,” the celebration will feature oratorical and musical performances by local students, a highlight of mentoring programs in Aurora, a presentation of the Donna J. Williams Service Awards and the Mayor’s Service Above Self Awards and remarks from Ryan and Norful. April Ryan is a longtime White House correspondent, Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks, a political analyst and a sought-after public speaker. She is the best-selling author of several books, including The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, and Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House. She is an esteemed member of the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Smokie Norful is a two-time Grammy award-winning recording artist and an internationally-known musician, composer, and preacher. Norful’s 2002 debut musical release ‘I Need You Know’ propelled him to worldwide recognition. Since that time, he has had three Number 1 Billboard albums and has sold over two million records worldwide. Norful serves as Senior Pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, IL where his ministry is focused on reaching the community and encouraging its members to live a life of service. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. The event is free and open to the public. For more details, including registration to volunteer during the 2020 MLK Day of Service, visit

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