Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Forty-years Later We Still Remember

by Monique Ozanne

Single – digit temperatures were not cold enough to keep celebrants indoors Monday morning from honoring the accomplishments of Dr. King.
Students, faculty and Athens community residents gathered outside of Galbreath Chapel to participate in a silent walk to Baker Center for a memorial brunch. Members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity hosted the brunch and walk; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a member.

During the memorial brunch, celebrants sang the National Black Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," followed by a prayer and welcome by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity members.

Guest speaker Jeffery T. Burgin, Dean of Students at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) and graduate from Ohio University gave a speech entitled: Community or Chaos: Where Do We Go From Here?

Among the noted guests were Vice President of Student Affairs here at Ohio University, Dr. Kent Smith Jr. Dr. Smith was pleased with the high attendance during Monday's events, however he still feels that there could be better participation from Ohio University students and faculty.

"Could we get more student organizations involved more faculty and stuff involved? Really, can we support the walk so that the walk becomes the majority of the campus, so we make a stand for not only what's right but what [Martin Luther King] stood for and that's nonviolence in a supportive society," he said.

Keith Mitchell, Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was also pleased with the turnout, but would like to see more campus involvement. He said that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just celebrating a man's birthday. He said it is remembering a time when America was in direct violation of its own constitution and with the actions of Dr. King, he might not be at Ohio University.

"On days when I don't want to go to class, I remember a time when I couldn't," said Mitchell in response to the holiday's significance.

This year marks the forty-year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death.

For more information on the life and accomplishments of Dr. King, please visit the Nobel Peace Prize website.

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