Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Not just a day without classes

Whenever students, myself including, think of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, usually the first thought that flashes through our mind is NO SCHOOL.  However, the day is more than a vacation and far beyond sleeping in.  Martin Luther King, Jr. day is an awakening of a dream, even a revitalization of the dream, as lost brothers and sisters unite in one social movement at the beginning of every new year. 

On Monday, Kalamazoo College offered a memorial service for Dr. King, Jr. and invited Harvey Hollins, III, the Director of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives for the State of Michigan and also Kalamazoo College alum, to redirect our social justice lens during an invigorating and sincere speech.  Now, it is a hard feat to shine amongst one of the best speeches the world has ever heard, Dr. King’s I have a Dream was playing through the speakers as attendees filled the rows of Stetson Chapel.  However, Mr. Hollins’ words were assertive, succulent and crisp, like an apple pie fresh out of the oven, and the audience was left with their spirits nourished in hope for a better tomorrow. 

It was like Dr. King was there himself, Mr. Hollins captured the audience with his audacity to dare us, yes, he dared us individually, to address a problem of our nation as he listed off the United States’ appalling statistics on poverty, hunger, homelessness and unemployment.  He challenged everyone, all generations, to join together in the dream that can be achieved, and he scolded us for being so divided. 

Mr. Hollins’ closed on an encouraging note, and as his voice faded into the silence of the falling snowflakes, a sunbeam emboldened his promising words and we left the chapel, each one of us, as believers.

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