Temple University remembered Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday at the Student Center as faculty and trustees reflected upon his legacy.
Rhonda Brown, Associate Vice President of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, spoke first at the program and introduced each of the presentation’s speakers.
Timothy Reese, President of the Temple University Black Alumni Alliance, Professor Charles Dumas, Professor Rebecca Alpert, Judge Theodore McKee, and President Ann Weaver Hart also spoke.
Brown made sure to emphasize the diversity of King’s followers.
“I’d like to remind you that the beauty of the civil rights movement and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is that it welcomed everyone. It was not bound by the constraint of race, color, gender, or social standing. People were moved by their heart and instructed by their soul. Ordinary people became extraordinary,” said Brown.
Professor Dumas recalled being in the presence of King, and speculated about how he would look at the world today.
“If he had lived, where would King be? In my opinion, he would be in the forefront of the protest against the war in Iraq. He would most assuredly be outraged at the inhuman and hypocritical treatment by immigrant laborers by America, a country that has been built and founded by immigrants. He would applaud the first female speaker of the House of Representatives and wonder why it took us so long. Loretta would certainly add, ‘amen.'”
As the program continued, each speaker continued to reaffirm King’s message. Upon describing the rather extremist nature of his practices, Alpert stated that “extreme measures are sometimes a necessity and may even be a virtue, and those who we call extremists today may turn out to be the moderates or even the sages of tomorrow.”
Judge McKee added, “this is the day, more than any other, that reminds me that each of us has an obligation to each other. This is a day that reminds me that one person can make a difference, and that each of us must try.”
Senior Dike Uzoukwu produced the videos used in the program between reflections, combining compassionate music with highlights from King’s civil rights career.
Hart concluded the emotional presentation. Before leaving the stage, she summed up how King’s legacy has affected the Temple community.
“Students, staff, and faculty engage their energy, their expertise, and strength to make North Philadelphia a better place every day of the year. We can all be proud and honored to be a part of that Temple family,” she said.
Michael Donovan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org