Hazleton Advisory Council to the PHRC to donate books to Penn State Hazleton Multicultural Center

Books donated by Dr. Walter Palmer & the WD Palmer Foundation

Harrisburg, PA- The Hazleton Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) will donate a collection of books written by Civil Rights Organizer and Activist Walter D. Palmer to Penn State Hazleton's Center for Multicultural Engagement.

  • EVENT: Hazleton Advisory Council book donation to Penn State Hazleton's Center for Multicultural Engagement
  • DATE: Thursday, April 4, 2024
  • TIME: 12:00p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • LOCATION: The Center for Multicultural Engagement, Charles T. Butler Teaching and Learning Resource Center, 76 University Drive, Hazleton, PA 18202

The Hazleton Advisory Council to the PHRC decided at their February 2024 meeting that the recent gift of books from the W.D. Palmer Foundation should be donated to the Penn State Hazleton Center for Multicultural Engagement. The Hazleton Advisory Council and Penn State Hazleton have collaborated since the advisory board was first formed in 2018. The chancellor of Penn State Hazleton at that time, Dr. Gary M. Lawler, (now chancellor emeritus) was one of the initial members of the advisory council and continues to serve.

Penn State Hazleton's current chancellor and chief academic officer, Dr. Elizabeth J. Wright, and director of Student Services and Engagement, Tracy Garnick, worked directly with students who spearheaded the effort to create the campus's new Center for Multicultural Engagement, a space dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Opening in September 2023, the center includes student education, collaboration, performance, study, and socialization spaces, as well as a gallery and library.

Tracy Garnick said, "On behalf of Penn State Hazleton students, I express our heartfelt gratitude to the Hazleton Advisory Council of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. We extend our appreciation for the generous contribution of W. D. Palmer's literary works, enriching the holdings of our Center for Multicultural Engagement library. Presently, our library offers valuable resources on financial literacy, leadership education, and diversity education. With the inclusion of Walter Palmer's distinguished works, authored by a committed medical professional, educator, activist, and lawyer, we anticipate a significant expansion of our resource collection to benefit our students."

"April 4 will mark the 56th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. "It is in the spirit of Dr. King's Beloved Community, that we will gather for this book donation to Penn State Hazleton. There is no more fitting place to host Dr. Palmer's work on civil and human rights than a center dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I am proud to support the Hazleton Advisory Council in this donation to Penn State Hazleton."

"The Hazleton Advisory Council to the PHRC is one of our most dedicated and active councils," said PHRC Director of Education and Outreach Desiree Chang. "It stands as an example of how members of a community can get together to act and create a more inclusive and diverse community. We are proud to be here with our colleagues at the Advisory council to participate in this donation and continue to foster a partnership with Penn State Hazleton."

About PHRC: The PHRC, the state's civil rights enforcement agency, urges anyone who has experienced acts of discrimination or hate to file a complaint with the PHRC by calling 717-787-4410.  Information and resources are also available at www.PHRC.pa.gov. Find PHRC news on XFacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

About Dr. Walter D. Palmer: Walt Palmer was born in 1934 in Atlantic City and moved to Philadelphia in 1939. Walt grew up in the Black Bottom, raising his siblings when his father died at 12 and helping to provide for his family by doing odd jobs and performing music and dance on the streets. Walt Palmer was arrested for the first time at age 12, he was shot and stabbed before high school, involved in local gangs, and went on to graduate from West Philadelphia High School, graduated from University of Pennsylvania's School of Respiratory and became director of Cardio-Pulmonary Care at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, studied business and communications at Temple University, went to Cheyney University for his teacher's degree in history, social studies, and communications, then went to Howard Law for his Juris Doctorate. Additionally, Walt has worked for many organizations doing community organizing, he's helped to buy and sell many major businesses, was a chief negotiator between MOVE and the city, worked in education, and is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was inducted into the Philadelphia College of Physicians in 2005.


PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media