Words By: Sean Sanders
On January 15, faculty, students and staff filled Jake Gaither gymnasium in support of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. convocation.
The thought plaguing most students’ minds can be summed up to “Why am I here?” For most, besides the mandatory attendance required by professors, convocation is time for the university to gather under one roof for one common cause: the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King began his young life in the church. He later decided that he wanted to become a reverend. Through the use of speeches, boycotts and most importantly sermons, Dr. King led one of the most successful and notable non-violent protest in the history of America.
One of Dr. King’s most prestigious achievements was delivering the “I have A Dream” speech. A special and powerful performance of the speech was given by James Moran and the Florida A&M University band. The powerful performance resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd.
Alisha L. Gordon, a scholar, activist and Huffington Post blogger was featured as the keynote speaker for this convocation. In her speech, Gordon noted important moments of her college career. She revealed how she didn’t graduate on time and eventually had to take a step back from previous life goals in order to ensure the future of her unborn daughter.
Gordon, despite her setbacks of an unplanned pregnancy, used her passion for writing to showcase and highlight the injustice in America pertaining to issues like the death of Mike Brown.
“Life isn’t what we decide it to be,” Gordon said. “It is what we are called to be.”
In Gordon’s speech, she also detailed how Dr. King’s goals influenced her own.
“In life we must use our skills to tell the stories of the marginalized people,” Gordon said
Junior english education major Megan Potts received a great message from MLK convocation.
“Although the dreamer is dead, the dream still lives and there is still work to be done,” Potts said.
This is why Dr. King’s life is celebrated through convocation: To keep the dream alive. Lessons that college students learn here can prepare them for a pivotal time where they decide to lead. It is how they use their leadership opportunities to shape the future and the dream that Dr. King had in mind so many years ago.