ISU inspired to take action: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Convocation

The Sun Room of the Memorial Union was nearly full on Jan. 24 as crowds gathered to listen to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Convocation. The theme was “The Beloved Community: Education and Equality in Action.”

Daniel Bush

The ISU community filled the Sun Room of the Memorial Union to honor and take action for Martin Luther King Jr on Jan. 24. His message and desire has motivated the community to make a change.

Pamela Anthony, dean of students, spoke of Martin Luther King Jr. “[He was] a man whose unrelenting pursuit of equality for all individuals literally changed the landscape of race relations in America,” said Anthony.

As a community, students should all strive for the same goal of equality, said Anthony.

“As Dr. King tells it, ‘Our ultimate aim is to live with all men as brothers and sisters,’” said Monic Behnken, assistant professor of psychology.

King experienced two things that helped him give back to his community.

“He had firsthand experience with racism, segregation, discriminatory practices and discriminatory hiring practices,” said keynote speaker Arnold Woods III. “The second thing … is that he recognized that the educated could also be immoral.”

Education is important, and King developed it into a high priority.

“Dr. King sees education as a responsibility,” Woods said. “So what he’s saying here is that we have to broaden our goals when we come to a university. Our focus when we come here can’t just be to get a degree and to get a high-paying job.”

The committee decided to change the name of the event to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Convocation. A convocation is a community gathering for the same goal, said Chrishelda Green, freshman in human sciences and member of the Legacy Convocation Planning Committee.

Green challenged the community to act for equality in all forms: race, gender, ethnicity, etc.

“It’s not enough to talk about Dr. King, you have to be about the King’s vision,” said Green. “I invite you to act. Find something you can do to advance the causes of equality.”

The community was encouraged to attend more multicultural events.

“I thought it was very educational for a lot of people who didn’t know a lot of this information, because a lot of this is not given out,” said Jordan O’Brien, sophomore in kinesiology and health.

Erin Pederson, a psychologist at student counseling services, agreed.

“I often feel like I’m not in a community that’s talking about that inspiration and so it’s great to have these events every once in a while where the energy accumulates in the room,” said Pederson.

“Care about your education. Education can lead to equity,” Woods said.