Dancing With the Stars champion, actor and army veteran J.R. Martinez will be the keynote speaker at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Advocate Christ Medical Center on Jan. 21.
Martinez won the hearts of millions of television viewers nationwide after placing among the top celebrity elites on season 13 of Dancing With the Stars. Championship dancing has been just one of many achievements for the Iraq War veteran who was severly injured in combat.
After overcoming his injuries, Martinez became a successful actor and for three years played the role of Brot Monroe on the Emmy Award-winning soap, All My Children. Martinez is a highly-sought and popular motivational speaker, as well as a New York Times-best selling author for his bio, Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength & Spirit.
“I am honored to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Christ Medical Center campus and share with the audience a message of resilience, optimism and the true value of making the most out of every situation,” Martinez said in a news release.
The celebration features the music of the Church Jazz Band, a jazz ensemble that celebrates music with congregations and audiences across the country. Afterward, audience members can sample a food from around the world at a multicultural lunch.
Medical center chaplain Rev. Richard E. James is coordinating the program. The annual celebration traditionally draws hundreds of residents and features local, regional and national leaders, celebrities and activists noted for their work in promoting race relations, social justice and societal fairness and equality.
“We are truly fortunate to have a man of Mr. Martinez’ caliber joining us for our annual Martin Luther King Day event,” Rev. James said. “It is truly an inspiring event. We anticipate that this year’s program will be particularly popular and are encouraging people to arrive early.”
The public is invited to attend the free event, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the medical center’s auditorium on Kilbourn Avenue just south of 93rd Street in Oak Lawn.
Source: Advocate Christ Medical Center