The College will honor four people and an organization

Published Friday, January 4, 2019

(LAKE WORTH, Fla. –Jan. 4, 2019) Tim Wise, one of the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the U.S., will be the keynote speaker at Palm Beach State College’s 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration set for Jan. 17.

The event will be held at 11 a.m. at the Duncan Theatre on the Lake Worth campus, 4200 Congress Ave. It is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to RSVP at

As part of the celebration, themed “Self-Empowerment and Independence through Education,” the College will present Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Awards to four people and an organization that have helped improve the lives of others in Palm Beach County. The 2019 honorees are:

  • Justin Kunzelman (Alumni), co-founder/CEO of Rebel Recovery, who has led the charge to drastically reform local policy affecting people who use drugs.
  • Vera Rolle Farrington (Individual), who in 1995 co-founded the nonprofit organization Expanding and Preserving Our Cultural Heritage, Inc. to preserve and share the black history of Delray Beach through preservation and education.
  • Joseph Morel (Student), a former Palm Beach State College student trustee, who began his journey of advocating for Cystic Fibrosis by stand-up paddling 90 nautical miles from Bimini in the Bahamas to West Palm Beach.
  • Dr. Irving Berkowitz (Faculty/Staff), dean of academic affairs at the PBSC Lake Worth campus and the son of Holocaust survivors, who has dedicated over 42 years to academia, advocating for underserved groups, improving race relations, raising awareness of social injustice and championing diversity.
  • Dress for Success Palm Beaches (Organization), a nonprofit that provides clothing as well as coaching and development tools to help women find the job that’s right for them, grow and progress in that position, and ultimately achieve economic independence.

Wise has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1,000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the country. He is the host of the new podcast, “Speak Out with Tim Wise,” and he has lectured internationally and trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.

He is the author of several books, including his latest, “Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America.” Other books include “Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority” and his highly acclaimed memoir, “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.”

Visit for more information about the celebration and the honorees.

Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.


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