Governor Tomblin Issues Executive Order Reestablishing the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued Executive Order No. 8-13 reestablishing the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission. This Order replaces Executive Order No. 13-09, which expired June 30, 2013.  

     “It is important we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the principles in which he believed and struggled to bring to fruition,” said Gov. Tomblin. “I truly believe this Commission’s planning, development and promotion of this holiday will help to ensure the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to inspire all West Virginians.”

     The purpose of the Commission is to develop, promote, coordinate, approve, review and make recommendations for activities to commemorate the birthday and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The Commission also encourages state, local and county governmental agencies, educational institutions, civic organizations and the general public to plan activities for observance of the holiday and to provide them with assistance and information.

     The Division of Culture and History and the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs will provide general assistance, upon request.  Dr. Carolyn Stuart, Executive Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs has been appointed to serve as the Commission Chair.  The following have also been appointed to the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission:

•              Secretary Kay Goodwin, Department of Education and the Arts
•              David Fryson, Chief Diversity Officer, West Virginia University
•              Julie Palas, GOHELP
•              Michelle Easton, Dean, University of Charleston, School of Pharmacy
•              Sylvia Ridgeway, State President, NAACP
•              The Honorable Marie Redd
•              Dr. Anthony Woart, Minority Health Institute, Bluefield State College
•              Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, Division of Culture and History
•              Patricia Wilson, Associate Professor, West Virginia State University
•              Jacqueline Proctor, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Tourism
•              Reverend B.J. Roberts, Kingdom Life Fellowship Church
•              Dr. Hazo Carter, Professor Emeritus, West Virginia State University
•              Reverend Ronald English, Metropolitan Baptist Church
•              The Honorable Larry Starcher
•              The Honorable Tod Kaufman 

 This Commission will expire on June 30, 2017, or as directed by a subsequent Executive Order​. To read the Executive order in its entirety, click here.

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