Six Indiana leaders were honored Wednesday evening at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration in Indianapolis. The women were commended for their unprecedented roles in the Indiana community at the ceremony commemorating the death of Martin Luther King Jr.
Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, federal judge Tanya Walton Pratt and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson were among those honored at the event. Freeman-Wilson is the first African-American female elected mayor in the state. She says receiving the award is significant because it honors those who paved the way for her success. She also says the gesture sends a good message to people in her daughter’s generation.
“She’s 18 and now, for them I can say the sky is the limit,” she says.
The ceremony was held on the grounds of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Indianapolis, the site of a speech Robert Kennedy gave on the night of King’s death, 44 years ago. That speech was widely credited with helping reduce rioting in the city in the wake of King’s assassination.
Governor Skillman is the first female lieutenant governor in state history and says being honored at the ceremony was a special moment because of the location.
“I think all Americans would certainly learn and benefit from what took place here 44 years ago,” she says.
Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie Lewis, Marion County judge Marilyn Moores and Indiana basketball star Tamika Catchings were also honored at the ceremony.