The Martin Luther King Legacy Committee hosted the 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast with the theme of “Rhetoric to Reality: Taking Action beyond the Dream” on the campus of Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Monday, Jan. 18.

Presented by MVNU and Kenyon College, guests of the celebration breakfast enjoyed dance presentations by MVNU’s L.E.A.P. Dance Ministry and musical word presentations from MVNU junior Jeremy Bankston.

Keynote speaker Dr. Robin Cooper-Moore, acting Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wilberforce University, encouraged the audience to think on questions like, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and “Do black lives matter?” while she drew from illustrations in Biblical history with Cain and Abel and from present day events like the Black Lives Matter movement in response to incidents in Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; Charleston, S.C.; and more.

“Our challenge is to do whatever we can to let our friends know that, yes, all lives matter,” Dr. Cooper-Moore said, and that through the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., everyone should “carry out the word of the Lord.”

Community leaders were asked to give their take on the theme of the morning and how one was to “take action beyond the dream.” Responses were heard from President Henry Spaulding, MVNU; President Sean Decatur, Kenyon College; Mayor Richard K. Mavis, City of Mount Vernon; and Mayor Kachen Kimmel, the village of Gambier.

Essay Contest Awards were presented to three local high school students from Mount Vernon City Schools on the subject of “Taking Action beyond the Dream” with Emily Keiderling, first place; Nathan Dinnen, second place; and Charlie Bonham, third place.

First-Knox National Bank Book Scholarships of $100 each were awarded to MVNU students Lopez Davis, Zachary Edwards, and Angela Hammond; and Kenyon College students Brandonlee Cruz and Tomas Grant. The Beulah Apostolic Award of Excellence awards were presented to Mr. Rob Fetters, Mrs. Christine Biggerstaff, Mr. Ronald Lewis III, and Mr. David Hurlbut.

The closing prayer was presented by Dr. Jean S. Massey, co-pastor of Apostolic Faith Church.

Staff report