By Brianne Kimmel
This year’s celebration on January 27th focused on “Empowering the Individual, Strengthening the Community” and included an afternoon of powerful music, dance and word. Performances by Kent State’s alternative band Astro Van, the Bhutanese- Nepali Dance Group, Omo Iroko Drum and Dance Society, and Voices of Testimony Gospel Choir set the tone of the events in the KIVA, while the Kent State University Gospel Choir continued the celebration in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.
Speakers included JMC and Pan-African Studies professor Traci Williams on “A Change Go’n Come,” Kent State University NAACP President Robin Wright, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Alfreda Brown, Student Multicultural Center Director Shana M. Lee and Department of Sociology Chair Dr. Richard Serpe.
Key Note Speaker Kweisi Mfume focused on empowering the individual based on his five-point program of advocacy including civil rights enforcement, educational excellence, economic empowerment, health advocacy and youth outreach.
Mfume’s background in broadcasting includes 13 years in radio and nine years as the host of the locally-award winning television show, The Bottom Line and five years as the host of the nationally syndicated NBC-Hearst TV special The Remarkable Journey. He has made guest commentator appearances on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Meet the Press, The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball, Nightline and countless other news programs.
The 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. For more information on future diversity events or to get involved contact the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at 330.672.8563, by email at email@example.com or visit the website at www.kent.edu/diversity.
Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.