For the 11th year in a row, Belmont celebrated the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth with a series of programs designed to honor the civil rights leader and to educate the community on issues of diversity. In addition to numerous classes across the curriculum examining King’s life and impact, a number of special events were held in mid-January for MLK Week. “Our Journey” by Michael Walker combined poetry, song, dance and drama to recount and celebrate Black history. The performance, which was directed by theatre alumna Crystal Jones, began with the civilizations of ancient Africa and ran through the late 1960s. “My heritage has nothing to do with skin. My heritage is Members of the Black Student Association and the Belmont Theatre Program participated in as a son of God... I celebrate the production.
Martin Luther King not as a black man or a great American. I celebrate him as someone who looked at the impossible and went after it. He dreamed a dream that was God’s dream, and he lived, sacrificed and died for it.” ~Al Allen (‘96)
MLK Week’s keynote speaker this year was Dr. Renita J. Weems, a nationally-renowned theologian who has been celebrated by Ebony magazine as one of America’s top 15 preachers. In addition to her “United/Divided by Faith” keynote, she also led a panel discussion with area ministers who shared their experiences with diversity. Alumnus and Athletic Hall of Famer Al Allen (’96) returned to Belmont to offer “A Christian Perspective on Race.” Allen illustrated how Jesus accepted the woman at the well and freed her from the bondage of rejection. In a similar fashion Allen recalled an experience in his own life that reminded him, “My heritage has nothing to do with skin. My heritage is as a son of God... I celebrate Martin Luther King not as a black man or a great American. I celebrate him as someone who looked at the impossible and went after it. He dreamed a dream that was God’s dream, and he lived, sacrificed and died for it.”
Finally, nationally known speaker and advocate for the poor Dr. John Perkins challenged his Belmont audience to build community. “Justice is understanding who owns the earth while injustice is about enslaving and exploiting people for your own aggrandizement,” Perkins said. n
Belmont Celebrates Martin 8
Luther King, Jr. Holiday with Series of Events Spring 2008
Published on Sep 7, 2011