January 24, 2019
Vincennes University celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
LINK to photo of keynote speaker Frank Leon Roberts, click HERE
VINCENNES, Ind. - Vincennes University honored the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at its annual banquet at Green Activities Center on Tuesday.
An estimated 150 people attended the event hosted by VU’s Department of Multicultural Affairs. The majority of guests wore all black at the suggestion of Cortney Cross, director of Multicultural Affairs.
Activist and NYU faculty member Frank Leon Roberts gave the keynote speech. He is recognized for creating and teaching the first Black Lives Matter college course in the United States. The focus of his speech was the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Black Lives Matters is a human rights movement,” Roberts said.
Prior to Roberts taking the stage, VU journalism major and Indianapolis native DeeShawnte Jefferson performed a spoken word piece written by her titled “I Have a Dream”.
“The most memorable moment for me was hearing (Student African American Sisterhood) President DeeShawnte Jefferson share her spoken word piece, a rendition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech,” Cross said. “To hear her words and to think about the power, intentionality, courage, and the bravery that it takes to love rather than hate is truly revolutionary and transformational.
“I really hope that people, whether they were comfortable or uncomfortable with the message, take time to reflect about why they feel as they do, but to also be empowered to move forward in love not hate, breaking the silence surrounding the injustice of marginalized people groups in this country and across the world.”
In addition to Jefferson’s reading, the evening featured musical performances by the Ron Jones Quartet and Dr. Kandace Hinton, a professor at Indiana State University.
“I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I received from Vincennes University faculty, staff, students, and community members at the MLK banquet,” Cross said. “It felt good to look out into the crowd and see the work put in was all worth it.”
LINK to VU Online Newsroom, click HERE
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports Information Director
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VICKIE PUFFER, Communications Coordinator & Online Newsroom Manager
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom