Celebrating Black History

Metea Valley High School celebrated Black History Month today with a speech by civil rights activist, Bishop Philip R. Cousin.

Cousin is one of only 21 recipients worldwide of the three yearlong Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fellow in Black Church Studies.

He also was chosen to dialogue with Pope John Paul II, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and presented a gift to fellow civil rights activist Nelson Mandela on behalf of the National Council of Churches of Christ.

Cousin told the audience it’s important to forgive your enemies and to fully realize everyone is equal in order for our country to move forward all together.

“I realized that there are certain groups that have prejudices against each other and one group will want the other group to change, but they won’t actually do anything to change because if they don’t forgive then there’s no way to make progress if the other group does change.”

Students at Metea Valley learn in the most diverse high school in DuPage County, Cousin inspired them to bring change in their own lives.

“I’m going to start keeping my eyes open to things and not judging people when I first see them,” said MVHS Junior, Niko Williams. “Everybody is the same. There is no point in judging people because of what they wear, or who they are. I want to be less judgmental overall.”

Two of Cousin’s most notable speeches were the invocation at President Obama’s election celebration back in 2008, in Grant Park, and the eulogy at the funeral of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

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