“Today, we want to walk in here this morning and walk out, somehow changed.” Dr. Albert Paul Brinson retired Associate General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches; U.S.A. spoke to the more than 300 members of the Delaware, Ohio Wesleyan, and surrounding community at the 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast on January 21. The colleague of King, John Lewis and others active in the civil rights movement, shared his memories of King during the celebration of King’s birthday and the 50thanniversary of his “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Today, we are moving closer to not having to think only of race as we stand together to do the living of these times together,” said Brinson. The breakfast in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center’s Benes rooms, was part of the 2013 celebration, which included an afternoon worship service at First Presbyterian Church in Delaware and remarks by Brinson. An evening lecture by OWU’s Professor Emmanuel Twesigye focused on President Obama’s second inauguration in context with King’s dream.
Opening the morning program, OWU’s Rosalind Scott, chairperson of the MLK Celebration Committee, introduced OWU President Rock Jones, who welcomed everyone to the breakfast celebration on behalf of the University. Guests viewed a film clip of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, applauding at the end of it. Other highlights, including the beautiful voice of Dr. Naima Johnston-Bush ‘93 and annual presentation of the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award—this year, awarded to Allison Larrick from Miami University, as well as Brinson’s thought provoking remarks, complemented his message that morning.
“Every year, I am excited, honored, and humbled to see the turnout for our breakfast celebration,” said Scott. “On behalf of the MLK Celebration Committee, I’d like to express that we are appreciative of the support and continued expression of commitment to recognizing and honoring the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also encourage everyone who attended that to truly honor him and his vision is to “Keep the Dream Alive,” through your own acts of personal conviction to strive for “Justice for All.” Brinson’s closing remarks called for each person to think about King’s vision, for which he lived and died.
“As we reflect, do we have a dream for which we would be willing to sacrifice?” Looking into the many faces of those seated before him, he spoke about the need for these dreams to include others.
“Our lives are to be lived for each other.”