No bias and non-violence – that was the message of Unity Partnership’s most recent event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his role in the civil rights movement.
“He was also concerned about issues of law enforcement. He was concerned about how the police had historically been used to suppress the rights of people. And that’s our focus, is how do we educate law enforcement to its history. And why it is we have such difficulty getting people to engage with us,” explained Paul Scott, a member of Unity Partnership’s Law Enforcement Committee.
Many area law enforcement personnel were among the audience in Pfeiffer Hall, where a special workshop that discussed diversity, privilege, and bias started off the evening.
“It really just opened up my eyes. And just seeing things from peoples different perspective and just how maybe other comments I’ve made before in the past how even I when I have good intentions saying them it may not come out that way,” said attendee Michela Cadarso, a sophomore at Neuqua Valley.
Following the workshop were speeches from civil rights activists who have personally seen the connections between Dr. King’s efforts in the 60’s to student walkouts today.
“Hopefully I get to speak with some of the young people tonight,” said civil rights activist Thomas Armstrong. “Just trying to give them some idea of how the young people of the south during the 60’s movement reacted through the entire situation. Some of the things they can pull from that and learn from that to help them carry on in their march here and their movement there today.
And someone who was right in the middle of the civil rights movement – Mrs. Naomi Ruth King – was the keynote speaker. She’s the sister-in-law to Dr. King and wife of the late Rev. A.D. King.
She also signed copies of her book “A.D. and M.L. King: Two Brothers Who Dared to Dream.”
The evening concluded with prayer and music.
Connecting to Dr. King’s message and keeping his dream alive.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.