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MLK Day event will deliver  Father Pfleger to Aurora

Father Michael Pfleger Mayor Rahm Emanuel during press confrence St Sabinafter going door door promote student attendance first day CPS

Father Michael Pfleger and Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a press confrence at St Sabina, after going door to door to promote student attendance on the first day of the CPS school year. Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 8, 2012 8:34PM

AURORA — This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will feature Chicago Catholic priest and social activist Father Michael Pfleger.

Toussaint Smith, chairman of the city’s African American Heritage Advisory Board, said Pfleger will add a different flavor to Aurora’s annual MLK Day observance as keynote speaker.

“We were looking for an individual who had made a difference in the community and could speak to King’s concepts,” Smith said.

Smith said Pfleger will speak of his experiences in attempting to bring change to neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.

Since 1981, Pfleger has been pastor of St. Sabina, a predominantly African-American parish in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood. Pfleger is also known for using controversial outreach methods and at times has clashed with leadership of the Chicago Archdiocese.

“One of the things about Father Pfleger... although some may see him in a different light, he’s one of the people truly making a difference in that community,” Smith said.

Aurora’s Martin Luther King Day celebration is scheduled for Jan. 21 at East Aurora High School.

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