A local attorney and professor was given a prestigious award for working to spread Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s mission.By Amy Wadas

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Several events to commemorate and honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are happening around the Pittsburgh area Monday, including the 22nd annual Allegheny County Bar Association’s prayer breakfast. This was the first time it was held virtually due to the pandemic.

“In his drum major instinct sermon, Dr. King said he wanted to be remembered as a drum major for justice, a drum major for peace and drum major for righteousness,” said Chair of the Homer S. Brown Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association Regina Wilson.

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That sermon was the focus of the event honoring Reverend Dr. King and his commitment to making changes in law and social justice.

Retired KDKA Reporter Harold Hayes carried services as master of ceremonies, and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald shared Dr. King’s legacy.

“His spirit lives on in all of us. We need to make sure we live up to the spirit of what Dr. King represented,” said Fitzgerald.

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Fitzgerald said Duquesne professor and supervising attorney for the university’s School of Law and Civil Rights Clinic Tracey McCants Lewis lives Dr. King’s mission. This is why she was awarded the Drum Major for Justice Award.

“Tracey doesn’t just speak, she acts,” said President of the Allegheny County Bar Association Elizabeth Hughes.

Lewis said she’s humbled and works hard to fight for others and their rights.

“The work that I’ve done to serve others through criminal record expungement and gubernatorial pardons is really just part of my DNA serving others,” said Lewis. “When I think about servant leadership, I think about Dr. King.”

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Typically, this MLK celebration is one of the biggest in the area and Fitzgerald is hopeful it will take place in person again next year.