WATERVILLE — Darmita Wilson, vice president of Northern Light Medical Group, will speak Monday during the 36th Martin Luther King Jr. community celebration hosted virtually by the Waterville Rotary Club.

The program will be held at 8 a.m. and those wanting to register may do so via a link on the rotary club’s website, watervillerotary.com.

The Pihcintu Chorus from Portland will be featured as part of pre-programmed music and the Rev. Maureen Ausbrook of the Waterville Interfaith Council will issue an invocation. Jeff Melanson, president of the Rotary Club, will welcome guests.

Guests may take part in a singalong, aided by words and musical voices on two YouTube videos. Songs include “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” said to be King’s favorite, and “Let there be Peace on Earth,” as requested by many who have taken part in past events. Roger Crouse, of the Waterville Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will issue closing remarks.

Wilson is a graduate of Howard University and attended the university during the same time Vice President Kamala Harris did, according to literature provided by the Rotary Club. Howard, a historically Black university, is where Wilson says she learned about a life of service to others.

Wilson grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and Gary, Indiana, and as a young child remembers visiting her grandmother, who taught her how to be safe in public during segregation.

“Even before I knew how to read, I remember my grandmother teaching me about the ‘w’ and the ‘c’ because when we were out at a public place, she didn’t want me to make the mistake of drinking out of a white (w) instead of a colored (c) water fountain,” Wilson said in a Rotary release about the event.

Her mother and grandmother were active participants in the Civil Rights Movement, and her grandmother was on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Selma to Montgomery March.

“Seeing Vice President Harris inaugurated meant so much to me and all the Howard University community and the country because we know our education, steeped in our service to others, gives us the tools to serve no matter the cost,” Wilson says in the release. “Howard University teaches us that a life of service as seen by Howard examples is a higher purpose than those who would deter you from it. Having a life of purpose allows you to have a purpose for life.”

In August last year, Wilson accepted the position of vice president of the medical groups in the Northern Light Health System, a position she said allows her to serve in both urban and rural health care delivery areas.

Wilson originally came to Northern Light as a national health care consultant from Washington, D.C., specializing in medical operations and logistics. As part of the position, she worked in more than 24 health systems across the United States in her 32-year career. A life-long learner, she currently is working on a doctorate in health care delivery with emphasis on special populations and health care disparities. She has three grown children.

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