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Ithaca College Music Professor Receives MLK Peacemaker Award

ITHACA, NY — Baruch Whitehead, associate professor of music education in the Ithaca College School of Music, has been awarded the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemaker Award. Celebrating the life and work of King, the award will be presented at the 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Breakfast on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School gymnasium.

The award is given to individuals or organizations who work non-violently for change, bring people together to resolve differences and/or promote social justice, and whose work benefits the Tompkins County community. Whitehead was chosen by a selection committee composed of representatives from the Community Dispute Resolution Center and the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) from a pool of nominations based on his accomplishments and work as a peacemaker.

In addition to teaching at Ithaca College, Whitehead is director of VOICES Multicultural Chorus, Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers and other choral groups. He also teaches African drumming and dance at GIAC, where he helped to develop a music program for underrepresented and disenfranchised students in the Ithaca community. The program is designed to give young people served by GIAC an opportunity to participate in multicultural music and arts education, including private and small-group instruction, public performances and a wide range of professional performances and workshops.

Whitehead contributed a chapter on the roles of music in the Civil Rights movement to the book “Music and Conflict Transformation” and presents workshops on diversity in music education for state, national and international conferences. He founded and directs the annual Ithaca College High School Gospel Invitational Festival.