Two Organizations in the National Pan-Hallenic Council Tackle the Challenge of Honoring Dr. King
By Khari Pressley and Andrew Porter
On Monday night, The Eta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. hosted a candlelight vigil and march as a part of their Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Students gathered in Tate Plaza to celebrate and remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by making signs and lighting candles in his honor.
Students made signs saying, “I have a dream that one day…” and followed the quote with dreams of their own that they would like to see realized.
The event opened with a prayer by sophomore Ola Ayeni which was followed by short speeches by seniors Jeremiah Lemons and Charles King.
Eboni Cook, a sophomore, said that events like this are helpful in pushing towards social equality.
“I feel like the only way we’re going to see progress is if we start putting ourselves out there and start working towards social justice.” Cook said.
Charles Sexton led the group in singing “Amazing Grace” and many other songs as the students marched from Tate Plaza to the Arch and back.
The event was a success as many students showed up to honor Dr. King’s legacy and let their voices be heard.
Students left the event feeling proud of how far African-Americans have come, but aware that there is still work to be done to realize Dr. King’s dream.
Charles King, a senior and one of the speakers at the event, believes that it is important to remember the sacrifices that Dr. King and others made for the sake of future generations.
“We are benefitting from what he was about and what he fought for,” King said. “It’s important that we come together to remember what he did for all of us.”
Taryn Winston, a senior and Vice President of Eta Xi, echoed King’s sentiments but added the importance of not only remembering Dr. King, but creating new goals for ourselves and future generations.
“This is important for everyone, but especially us as black students at such a great university,” Winston said. “We are so privileged and so it’s important for us to carry on his [Dr.King’s] legacy and not only his dream, but our dreams also.”
On Tuesday night, in observance of MLK Day, the Zeta Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. hosted a program entitled, “It Was All A Dream.” The program highlighted many important social injustices in society and proposed the question of whether or not Dr. King’s dream has been actualized.
The program which was hosted by Taryn Winston and Narke Norton featured segments of King’s famous “I Have A Dream Speech” along with powerful images of the plight different ethnic groups have faced throughout history and even today. This program attempted to touch on lesser-known forms of discrimination such as disability and religion.
One of the more insightful moments in the program came when Norton asked the question, “Talk about a time when you have been discriminated against?” Members in the audience discussed specific times they had been discriminated against and the answers were very enlightening and revealing.
One audience member spoke of the discrimination she often feels at being an atheist. Another spoke about his grandmother being repeatedly discriminated against for being Muslim in an airport and now she arrives 45 minutes ahead of schedule to prepare for the discrimination.
The responses from the people help to truly reveal what discrimination is and how it affects all groups of people, not just African Americans. The program provided an opportunity for a very introspective conversation amongst members of the UGA community and achieved the goal of raising awareness towards social justice and equality for all.
“I became more aware of social injustices that people experience,” said freshman Erin Gossett. “I started to think of other minority groups that experience just like I do as a woman or a person of color.”