Monday, January 18, 2010

Today, At Ferris State University, We Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, as a campus community here at Ferris State University and around the nation and the world, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day.MLK Day is not just a day off of work or school. It is, and should be, far more than just another day off of work or school.Today, is a day we remember and continue to never forget the great sacrifices that Dr. King made to allow so many of us, today, to enjoy freedoms he never had the privilege to fully enjoy during the far-too-few 39 years he lived. Many of us were born with these freedoms and did not have to fight for these freedoms. Indeed, for so many of us, it's easy to take so much of what we have for granted and not appreciate the sacrifices of Dr. King, and countless others, who battled through the painful and deadly days of the modern Civil Rights Era in the United States of America.The above quote was important to me because it emphasizes that the fight Dr. King and others waged was no easy one - it's was never promised to be easy.It was, in fact, a deadly fight. Still, Dr. King and others battled against the threats and acts of violence and intimidation.Dr. King believed in the deep-rooted goodness of his enemies even when his enemies saw nothing but the worst in him and what they believe he represented:
"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King chose to love his enemies and to did his best to work with those who both loved and hated him to make the world a better place for people of all genders and races.Indeed, Dr. King made the ultimate sacrifice as he paid with his life when he was struck down by an assassin's bullet on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. As a result of his sacrifice, and all that he did as he lived, it is important that today we continue to fight to live up to his Dream.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech:
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
Dr. King's Dream still lives, and we must continue to work toward the goals of that vision. The progress we've made, since his death in 1968 is tremendous, but the work is not finished.Take time out of your schedule this week to attend events related to Ferris State University's 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. If you're outside of Big Rapids, find a place where Dr. King's life and Dream are being celebrated or research on your own about his messages to better understood what he stood for, lived for, fought for, sacrificed for and died for.

In closing, here again is the list of this year's 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration activities on the Ferris State University campus:

MONDAY-January 18th 2010

Tunnel of Oppression Exhibit 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Rooms 153 & 155
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Jim Crow Era Videos 11 a.m. to 2p.m.
Rankin Student Center Atrium/Art Gallery
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

MLK Faculty & Staff In-Service 10 a.m. to12 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Founder's Room 238

OMSS Annual MLK Freedom March 3 p.m.
Merrill/Travis Residence Hall to Rankin Lobby
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

OMSS Annual Student Tribute 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Dome Room
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

TUESDAY-January 19th 2010

Tunnel of Oppression Exhibit 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Rooms 153 & 155
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Jim Crow Era Videos 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Atrium/Art Gallery
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Privilege Activity: Breaking Down Barriers 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
University Recreation Center
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

MLK Celebration featured Speaker:
Dr. David Pilgrim 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
IRC Auditorium 120
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

WEDNESDAY-January 20th 2010

Tunnel of Oppression Exhibit 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Rooms 153 & 155
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Jim Crow Era Videos 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Atrium/Art Gallery
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

MLK Celebration featured Presentation & 5-Star Event: The N*W*C* Show 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Williams Auditorium
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

THURSDAY-January 21st 2010

Tunnel of Oppression Exhibit 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Rooms 153 & 155
FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Privilege Activity: The N*W*C* Show Reactions/Hateful Words
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. University Recreation Center
FREE and OPEN TO STUDENTS

MLK Legacy Dinner 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Rankin Student Center Dome Room
INVITATION ONLY

For information about all events, please contact the Office of Multicultural Student Services at (231) 591-2617.

Co-sponsors include:
Office of the President
Diversity & Inclusion Office
Office of Multicultural Student Services
V.P. of Student Affairs
V.P. for Administration and Finance
V.P. University Advancement and Marketing
Admissions & Records
Entertainment Unlimited
Office of Equal Opportunity and Governmental Relations
and General Counsel
College of Arts & Sciences
Student Government
Political Engagement Project
Williams Auditorium
Residence Life
Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning
Student Leadership & Activities
The Finance Division of Student Government
and the 2010 MLK Celebration Planning Committee

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