Yesterday I was humbled to participate in the 22nd annual Unity Breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter Education Foundation. This event is widely attended by people in central Kentucky and is followed by a march through downtown Lexington.
When I think back on all Dr. King accomplished in his short life, I believe he was wise beyond his years because his vision was so clear. Dr. King once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” That was true 50 years ago and it’s still true today.
In today’s politically correct world, however, I’m concerned that some people may feel it’s inappropriate to speak out about social injustice and inequality. But in his quest for unity, Dr. King also said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” So don’t stand by and wait for someone else to do the right thing.
Dr. King was passionate about education and the need for opportunities for all. That’s why his birthday also is when KCTCS kicks off its sixth annual Super Sunday, a recruitment event to promote higher education for African-American and Latino students. This year, Super Sunday is Feb. 28 at African-American and Latino churches around the state and will include college fairs to provide information on admissions, degree programs, financial aid, transfer opportunities and more. I invite you to attend a Super Sunday event in your area.
Through Super Sunday, KCTCS has increased outreach to prospective students who often are not part of the higher education conversation. And it’s working. From fall 2011 to fall 2014, we saw a 14 percent increase in our enrollment of students who self-identify as under-represented populations.
But we have much more work to do. If you’re a KCTCS faculty or staff member, I hope you’ll consider participating in this year’s event at a church near you. Let’s keep Dr. King’s dream alive to make sure all people have the opportunity to improve their lives and their communities.