Community joins in honoring legacy of civil rights leader

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rev. James H. Stowe, Jr., pastor of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, is seen during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. community celebration.


“The dream lives on in you: Service, Community, Teaching.”

This theme resonated throughout the Bowman Auditorium at Ohio University Southern Campus in celebration of Martin Luther King day.

Email newsletter signup

“Even if a dream is fulfilled, we have to work at maintaining its existence,” Dr. Brian Bridges, vice provost for diversity, access and equity, Ohio University, said. “And I would hazard to say that Dr. King’s dream, while advanced, remains unfulfilled.

The Bowman Auditorium was nearly filled to capacity as individuals gathered for a night of entertainment, with performances from the Yvonne DeKay School of Dance and the Voices of Faith, capped off by Bridges, the event’s keynote speaker.

“Dr. King’s dream has no traction if we don’t try to implement it locally or in our homes,” Bridges said. “Every journey starts with the first step.

The community celebration event is an important event, it brings the community together. It’s an opportunity to come together with high school and university students, allowing them to participate in the festivities. The youth will carry the torch in the community, Dr. Charles Jarrett, associate professor of sociology, said.

“I grew up in the civil rights. He is one of the most courageous characters of all time,” Jarrett said. “It takes someone with courage to live the values they preach. He is one of our hero’s that we need to remember.”

History is filled with the names of people who are not widely known but who fought to make their dreams a reality, Bridges said.

“The dreams of our ancestors, those we knew personally like our grandmothers, and the foot soldiers in the fight for equality, are just as important as Dr. King’s dream,” Bridges said. “The large collective dream that Dr. King put forth for equality and justice is simply a vision of many smaller dreams that are no less important.”

The event held several presentations were given by Ohio University students. Each presentation was different, giving a diverse perspective of King’s life and vision, but each presentation ended with the same, “The dream lives in you,” theme.

“Each of us can impart wisdom, knowledge and good morals to subsequent generations,” Bridges said. “Consider how your service, community building and teaching reflects Dr. King’s work and think about how you can enhance it further to fulfill the dreams of our ancestors and provide dreams that help our children to live up to their potential.”

Jarrett and Robert Pleasant, director of enrollment and student services, provide opportunities each quarter to expose students to different speakers and guest, who are brought into the university to give the students a diverse cultural experience, Jarrett said.

Ohio University has several events planned throughout January to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, visit their website,, for more information.