By: Isabelle Flener
L&C held its 2023 Commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. for all to join. The commemoration was started by Mumba Mumba. Throughout the presentation, The Blancas, led by L&C’s Brenda Lancaster, performed vocal pieces.
“This event is meaningful to me from the standpoint of ensuring Dr. King’s mission and his life still prevails and is still known and never forgotten,” said Jared Hennings, student activities coordinator.
Hennings read excerpts from King’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. L&C student Ayana Pacley read excerpts from “The Birth of a New Nation,” a sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church by King. Angelica Jones, another L&C student, followed by reading excerpts from the speech given at the Great March on Detroit by King. Jaron Young, head women’s basketball coach, then read excerpts from the March on Washington – the “I Have a Dream” Speech.
Hennings made further remarks.
“I must realize in 2023 what Dr. King stood for in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, still has an impact on our lives today,” Hennings said, “His mission is something that we should not take for granted, and it is something I always need to undoubtedly remember.No matter who you meet or who you associate with, whether they look like you or do not, we all have that common need for acceptance, belonging, and access. There needs to be that social justice kind of mentality spread, and if you have that then people will be treated equally and fairly.”
Director of Talent Search and Upward Bound, Crystal Robinson then introduced the keynote speaker, First Lady Reverand Sheila Goins.
Goins captivated the audience with her speech, “Stand Tall and Straighten Your Back!” Goins spoke of financial literacy and shared many more motivating topics.
“Dr. King paved the way for equality for all people,” Goins said. “To be able to have the opportunity to speak on a platform designed to properly honor him is an honor to me as a black woman. Martin Luther King Jr. laid the foundation for me to be the first African American woman in the Riverbend to become a Branch Manager of a financial institution.”
She said King inspired her to have the courage to apply for the position and work her way from a part-time teller to being a manager.
“He undoubtedly helped me believe I could go as far as I wanted, and not that there would not be any obstacles, but he inspired me to keep on going,” Goins said. “People can keep Dr. King’s dream in the forefront and always stand up for what it is they believe in and do not back down. Do it in a diplomatic way, as long as you are not being forceful or hurting anyone. Be assertive and stand up and stand in for what you believe.”
Contact Hennings at email@example.com with any questions about future events.