Division News & Statements
Highlights from MLK Day
January 17, 2017
View a video recap of MLK Day 2017 events: https://youtu.be/9S8aSBWvg6k
This story was originally published on GV Now.
Keynote speaker Kevin Powell kicked off Grand Valley's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week by encouraging audience members to "stop waiting for Superman" and telling them they are the leaders.
Powell is an activist, author and the president of BK Nation, a national organization that uses grassroots activism and pop culture to spark campaigns. He spoke to an audience that filled the Fieldhouse Arena January 16.
He helped lead a silent march through the Allendale Campus to the arena. Powell said he usually doesn't care for marches and would rather to do something more active, but this march struck him.
"I was choked up as I was reading the signs along the way," he said, referring to the signs posted along the march route that signified key points of the civil rights movement and King's life.
Powell said the signs reminded him of how young King was, and how much responsibility he held. "I believe as a student of Dr. King's that he would say the leadership you're looking for is right in the mirror," he said.
He urged audience members to study history, read King's speeches and works, and learn from people who come from different backgrounds and cultures. Doing so, he said, would be steps to creating inclusive and diverse communities.
"If we are living in the spirit of Dr. King, our voices matter equally, our stories matter equally," he said.
Grand Valley's King Commemoration Week continues Tuesday, January 17, with a Common Ground event, featuring journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones and Jason Riley. “Race and the American Dream” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Eberhard Center; it is sponsored by the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies in conjunction with the Division of Inclusion and Equity.
It is free, open to the public, and LIB 100 approved. RSVP online at www.hauensteincenter.org/RSVP.
The remainder of the week's events are listed online, www.gvsu.edu/mlk.