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New Year’s Service To Focus On Education

By Sheila Ash

The Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition will host the annual community-wide Emancipation Proclamation Day worship service on New Year’s Day. This year’s theme is “On with Education.”

The aim of the service is to emphasize the importance of obtaining a college education.

Reverend Frank Smith, President of the Coalition, says local African-American leaders have set a goal of 15 thousand degrees by 2020, building upon Louisville’s “55,000 Degrees” initiative.

“That goal not only elevates the African-American higher education attainment rate, but it also closes the gap bringing the African-American attainment goal rate closer in range with the Caucasian goal rate as we see typically in major cities,” he said.

Smith says the Reverend Kevin Cosby, Pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church will be the guest speaker. He says the service is open to the public. It will be at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church at 2:00 pm.

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Ministerial Coalition Criticizes Heiner TV Spot

A television ad from Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner has drawn criticism from a group that represents many African-American churches. The Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, or IMC, says Heiner’s ad is misguided.

The 30-second TV spot calls for an end to the Jefferson County Public Schools student assignment plan. In its place, Heiner suggests the district expand the magnet school program and provide incentives for teachers at low-performing schools.

IMC President Reverend Frank M. Smith Jr. says Heiner’s plan would re-segregate the schools. He adds that the assignment plan should stay in place, and any problems with it should be addressed by the school board.

“We support our school board in moving forward,” he says. “A lot of tax dollars have already been expended behind the plan and implementation of the plan and we just think some simple tweaking can get the situation improved.”

The Heiner campaign says the community needs to take a new look at education and the ad will continue to air.