‘Become a Dreamer,’ the message at MLK Prayer Breakfast

About 150 students, faculty, staff, and community leaders were encouraged to become “dreamers” at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast Friday, January 18, 2013.

The event is hosted each year in recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. UCA President Tom Courtway offered greetings to attendees reinforcing the importance of celebrating the legacy of King. “We need to remember his work and his legacy.”

“Evolution of the Dream” was the theme for the event. Using it, Thelma Moton, founder and executive director of Choosing to Excel, challenged the audience to reflect on the last 50 years since King’s famous “I Have a Dream speech.”

“Dr. King is probably the most iconic African American of all time,” said Moton, the guest speaker at the breakfast. “The 50th observance of any event demands reflection.”

Moton told the audience that King would likely be proud of the many accomplishments America has made in the areas of racial equality and social justice. She asked the audience to reflect on where the nation still falls short.

“We can’t revel in the successes without looking at where we are falling short and we are,” she said. “I believe he would not be satisfied by what is happening in America’s communities. I believe he would not happy and satisfied by what’s happening with our families. I do not believe Dr. King would not be happy with what’s happening in our schools.”

She encouraged the audience to not take off for the King Holiday, but take it on instead. Without this work, the full evolution of King’s dream cannot be realized, she explained.

“We must make a shift from ‘I have a dream’ to the collectively we have a dream.” Moton said. “Do you have a dream? Are you a dreamer?”

Moton was invited by the Office of Multicultural Student Services. The office supports all students and campus community members by promoting multicultural programs and initiatives that educate, challenge and foster a sense of inclusion for the members of the UCA community.

“Because Dr. King was a mentor to a very diverse group of people on his journey to equality for all, I wanted to find a speaker for this occasion who was a great mentor in our community which led me to Mrs. Moton who impacts the lives of students and adults on a daily basis.” said Angela Jackson, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Representatives from the City of Conway, Conway Police Department, the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission, Congressman Tim Griffin’s office, Senator Mark Pryor’s office and various local businesses and churches attended the event.

To see highlights, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJeqqOHkhbM&list=PLlnJ8RNl9iWatPDQhOyjr59TSSKENknsS&index=3.