Commission to honor efforts of Westminster humanitarian

Writer, teacher Ira Zepp to get award at banquet

March 26, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Ira G. Zepp of Westminster will be honored by the Carroll County Human Relations Commission at its eighth annual awards dinner at 6: 30 p.m. tomorrow at the New Windsor Conference Center.

The keynote speaker will be David L. Carrasco, professor of religion at Princeton University and a former student of Zepp, who taught at Western Maryland College for more than 30 years before retiring in 1994.

The award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in human relations and civil rights, locally and nationally, in the diverse arenas of community activism, scholarship, the pulpit and the classroom.

The first of its kind to be given by the Carroll County group, Zepp's lifetime achievement award will be the centerpiece of the commission's 10-year anniversary celebration.

Zepp has written or co-written three books on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; marched with King in Selma, Ala., in 1965; and served locally on the committee that helped desegregate many of the restaurants in Westminster.

Although retired, he continues to teach a course, "Prejudice and Power," in the college's Honors Program. He also speaks locally on the topic of interracial dialogue and is a founding director of Common Ground on the Hill, a program in residence at WMC that promotes diversity through music, art and philosophy.

Also to be honored is Valerie Mason, a former member of the commission.

Carroll County Human Relations Commission is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote harmony and understanding among the citizens of Carroll County, and works to ensure that all individuals are free to exercise and enjoy all civic, economic, political, housing, recreational and other human rights.

Information: Virginia Harrison at 410-795-8521.

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