The NAACP Salt Lake Branch held its 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Luncheon on Monday at Little America in downtown Salt Lake City.
Among those honored at this year’s event were state Rep. Sandra Hollins, who received the Rosa Parks Award, and philanthropist Andy Noorda, who received the organization’s Dr. Martin Luther King Award. Hollins, a social worker, is the first black woman elected to Utah’s House. This year, she is sponsoring legislation to change the Utah Constitution, which includes a provision saying slavery is banned “except as a punishment for a crime.”
“It’s taking away language out of our constitution that is hateful. Slavery should not exist in any form, even in our prison system, as the constitution suggests that it should,” Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, told The Salt Lake Tribune previously.
On Monday, Cedric M. Powell, a law professor at University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law, gave the keynote address which focused on the relevance of King’s legacy in the Trump era. Attendees also recognized the 70th birthday of Jeanetta Williams, the president of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch.