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MLK remembrance ceremony brings AIC together

L-R%3A+Kyle+Boyer-Tucker%2C+Kei%27Shairra+Jackson%2C+Alicia+McKenzie%2C+Kendall+Streeter+and+Samira+Abdul-Karim.
L-R: Kyle Boyer-Tucker, Kei'Shairra Jackson, Alicia McKenzie, Kendall Streeter and Samira Abdul-Karim.

L-R: Kyle Boyer-Tucker, Kei'Shairra Jackson, Alicia McKenzie, Kendall Streeter and Samira Abdul-Karim.

L-R: Kyle Boyer-Tucker, Kei'Shairra Jackson, Alicia McKenzie, Kendall Streeter and Samira Abdul-Karim.

Ave' Mullen, Staff Writer

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The 15th of January celebrated the extraordinary life of highly respected activist, minister, and father Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On January 16th, in the AIC Campus Center Auditorium, an MLK Remembrance Ceremony was held to remember his impact on the civil rights movement and to recognize the groundbreaking effects it has had on our society.

Organized by Assistant Director of Diversity Education Alicia McKenzie, the event was a mind-opening experience that both AIC students and staff could enjoy.

In a wonderful opening, AIC students Kei’Shairra Jackson, Kendall Streeter, Samira Abdul-Karim, and Kyle Boyer-Tucker delivered a magnificent and inspirational reading of Dr. King’s well-known “I Have a Dream” speech. Thereupon, the floor was opened for discussion to answer the momentous question at hand: is AIC living up to Martin Luther King’s dream?

“No,” sophomore Kei’Shairra Jackson unapologetically stated.

“But we’re going to work towards making AIC better for our minorities and make sure everyone is living up to MLK’s dream,” she added.

Jackson was the host of the conversation and worked passionately alongside McKenzie to organize the event. She is involved in numerous groups and activities advocating for social change and social justice, like Student Government Association, Student Engagement and even her own organization, PLUS.

As an African American lesbian in the U.S.A, she wants to empower other minorities and social groups that aren’t fully accepted in society.

AIC is commonly recognized and appreciated for its’ diversity and equal opportunities on campus.

However, with a variety of distinct cultures, religions, races and ethnicities being blended into an academic environment, many students feel that AIC’s staff and administration can be “doing more” to unify the campus on a more personal level.

On the other hand, some of the staff shared with the group that to encourage more unity and interaction within our campus, we need an equal balance of the students’ and staff’s power and effort. There are countless events that go on weekly at AIC, yet, many students don’t participate or claim not to know about them.

“My favorite part of the entire event was to hear the feedback from the students and the feedback from the faculty and staff,” McKenzie said.

“I also loved the opportunity they had to share their honest opinions with one another to best be able to move forward in the future.”

At the end of the discussion, McKenzie urged everyone in attendance to make a pledge on how they plan to keep Dr. King’s dream alive by writing it out on the white board and taking a picture.

She also anticipates several events coming up, like the Get Real series to create a more inclusive campus through dialogue and education. People pledged by make their own personal commitment to keeping Dr. King’s dream alive.

“I pledge to keep Dr. King’s dream alive by being inviting and open to change,” one powerful pledge read. “I will personally reach out and learn more about my culture and the students surrounding me.”

“I plan to keep Dr. King’s dream alive by challenging my white peers to think critically of the process we require our students to follow,” another passionate student pledges. “ARE THEY INCLUSIVE?”

This event shows that with effective communication, hard work, and a little encouragement from those around us, we can make powerful changes that keeps Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream alive here at AIC.

If you would also like to stand up and make a pledge to keep Dr. King’s dream alive, you can do so at the Center for Student Engagement.

How will you make a change?

For the interests and benefit of our campus, students Samira Abdul-Karim and Malik Webb put together a short recap video of the event, which you can watch here at www.youtube.com/channel/UCHk1zPfx2yEGxgj7JK1kZZQ.

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MLK remembrance ceremony brings AIC together