Meredith College held a commemoration service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. The service, which took place at Jones Chapel, was co-sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain and Meredith’s Black Student Union (BSU).
Dr. Margaret A. Brunson, inspirational speaker, author, and CEO of Illumined Leadership Solutions, was the featured speaker. Brunson reminded attendees of King’s message about the need to work together as an interrelated network of humanity in order to combat inequality.
“All mankind is tied together. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,” Brunson said, quoting Dr. King. “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what I ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”
Brunson encouraged those seeking equality and justice to acknowledge and accept the discomfort of awareness and to connect with others and “be human together.”
“We need to stay uncomfortably woke [and] accept that this awakening is compelling us to reconnect with our humanity and be okay with how uncomfortable it is,” Brunson said. “We have to learn the truth and do the emotional labor that comes with knowing the truth.”
Another guest was Dasan Ahanu, a lecturer at the University of Chapel Hill, who recited spoken word poetry about the struggles of systematic and institutionalized inequality.
The musical selection, performed by the Duke Divinity Praise Team, a trio of a capella singers, included We Shall Overcome and Our God.
Members of Meredith’s BSU delivered the invocation, the occasion speech, and introduced the featured guests. Daphne Moore, ’18, vice president of the BSU, delivered the litany: “Celebrating Women of the Movement.”
“Being able to see this event come together as well as partake in it really made me overjoyed,” said Moore. “It allowed a platform to speak about what it will take to see a change for black society in America through the voices of others who have paved the way for change.”
Meredith College Chaplain Donna Battle ended the service by acknowledging and thanking the event organizers, guest speakers, and performers.