Calvin’s “Melanin Pillars of Excellence” display honors Black History Month

Each year, the Clinton community MLK Committee hosts the annual MLK Celebration.  In 2021, the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.  Dr. Karen Vickers was announced as the 2021 Peace and Justice Award recipient and recognized earlier this year.  Knowing the importance of Dr. King’s contributions and mission and the many individuals in our area that also keep his dream alive, local artist Hayle Calvin has put together a display entitled “Melanin Pillars of Excellence”.  She has been actively working with the MLK, Jr. Celebration Team for several years creating fliers and program covers for the annual Celebration.

The “Melanin Pillar of Excellence” Display highlights some of the influential African Americans who have contributed profoundly to Clinton, Iowa.  It also includes other individuals who have made Black History through their achievements. Calvin stated, “It’s important for people to realize the rich and amazing history that Clinton has. I hope that this display will help encourage people to take time this Black History Month to look into the life stories, historical contributions and achievements of these amazing individuals.”

Calvin is a 2019 Clinton Community College graduate.  Currently attending the University of Northern Iowa, Calvin plans to graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design in Spring 2021.  Calvin states, “Art has been something that I have been passionate about for many years and that passion started by taking a drawing class at CCC. Art has the ability to touch so many people and I hope to one day have a career where I can create meaningful visual experiences for people.”

The MLK Committee will be hosting a reception for Hayle this summer after she graduates.   Individuals will be able to come see her display and meet the artist. 

For more information on the MLK Committee or events, please contact Mardell Mommsen at 563-244-7006.  For general information, visit the Eliminating Racism page of the YWCA website at

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