Dinner kicks off Black History Month

By Esra Sardag

Contributing Writer

On, Monday, Jan. 30, the University hosted the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beloved” Dinner to commemorate his legacy as a courageous speaker and leader. The dinner was the first in a series of events held by the University’s Multicultural Student Services to honor King during the month of February, which they have dubbed as “Break the 28.” 
Because February is a short month, they have decided to include a day in January and March as well. Their aim is to devote this extended month of February to community service activities to honor King’s legacy by giving back to society. The dinner was located in the Terrace Room of the Elaine Langone Center and was largely organized by students for other students on campus.
“I thought it would be very attractive for students to hear the voice of students. Our goal is for contemporary citizens to understand that Dr. King’s movement is relevant to any major social movement today,” said Vincent Stephens, director of Multicultural Student Services.
The keynote speaker for the event was Abraham Khan ’12, who spoke on the importance of realizing King’s ideals.
Khan, a biomedical engineering major, discussed many of his personal life mistakes and related them to the importance of following in the footsteps of King’s bravery.
“The main lesson that I hope everyone gains from my speech is that you can’t stop people from doing anything; you have to stand up for what you believe in and that’s how you move on. Even the little things matter in life and make a difference,” Khan said prior to speaking in front of the group.
The night also featured a poetry reading by Jason Brown ’13.
“This is the first time I’m writing a poem for a specific topic and a specific event but I have really enjoyed it. I think the most important message from tonight is that we should feel motivated to take a stance, make a change. King was able to become a great leader despite all challenges, almost like an underdog stepping up. We should learn from his courage and motivation,” Brown said.
Two songs on the theme of change were performed by Morgan Davis ’12. This, in addition to the speech, were meant to encourage people to think more about what King was fighting for and how we can learn from him to deal with the issues of today.
“I believe this dinner was a big accomplishment because it helped raise awareness about who Martin Luther King was, the ideals that he stood for, and the ways that we can incorporate those into our daily lives,” said Lebo Letsie ’12, one of the event organizers.
Look out for the many community service opportunities available this month to commemorate King. For more information, visit the University’s website.
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