Grace Caruso, Staff Writer
The tables were set elegantly and the food set out for the people to enjoy. The students and faculty started streaming in for the celebration. The tables were half-filled while 90 celebrators sat in anticipation for the food and the presentation.
Collin Chambers and Sophie Donan were respectful hosts while Jeneva Burton made the opening remarks. Burton pointed out that Martin Luther King Jr. changed our nation for the good, she felt blessed that she could speak freely in front of people of all colors because without King this would not be possible.
President Heynderickx then spoke about how higher education evolved over the years because of social justice leaders like Booker T. Washington, Mallala Yousafzai, and of course King himself.
Once everyone sat down to enjoy their dinner, Dior Davenport recited a moving poem. Davenport portrayed a young woman named Ruby, living in the early time of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Her spoken word told a story of a strong woman who stood up for her rights at first hesitantly, but then powerfully with all her being.
We heard her struggle through deaths of loved ones, and threats against her family. Davenport compares the Civil Rights Movement with the First World War, which was striking in comparison. African Americans did fight in the First World War, and in our history there is a lot of media content documenting the tragic violence the soldiers witnessed and partook in. For many African Americans who protested during the Civil Rights Movement, they have seen the same violent acts as the soldiers, whether they wanted to participate in it or not.
John Hopkins followed with a speech about radical love. “Through radical love King teaches us how to love the unloved,” spoke Hopkins.
He went on to say that in this present day we need to teach the younger generation about our past accomplishments and the struggle endured to reach where we are today. He urged the audience to educate themselves and the people around them because that is the only way to continue to strive towards a world without racism and sexism.
Only 6 percent of the student body attended this event; therefore the majority of the campus did not hear the important message that Hopkins presented.
Hopkins lastly stated, “There is hope.”
Like King and as social justice warriors, we all hope for a future of equality.