UT’s Unity Celebration recognizes 50th anniversary of “I Have a Dream” speech
January 20, 2014: It has been 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. said those famous words, “I have a dream.” On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the University of Toledo, like most other colleges, honored his vision of equality in a “Defending the Dream” Unity Celebration.
The 2014 Unity Celebration featured remarks by Toledo NAACP President Ray Wood, in addition to UT President Jacobs and Mayor Collins.
“Defending the Dream is an appropriate theme to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th anniversary of this historic speech; we as a nation and as a city have not succeeded in making all of Dr. King's dream come true,” Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said.
“We have made progress, but we still have work to do to be able to ‘transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.’ I believe the different parts of the orchestra are in tune; they are expert in their own scores but it will require more effort on all of our parts to obtain that beautiful symphony, one that we long to hear in our lifetime.”
Kristian Brown, 13 ABC reporter and anchor, and Tony Rios Jr., founder and executive producer of Tony Rios Enterprises Inc. Hispanic broadcast media and entertainment agency, emceed the event.
The Toledo Interfaith Mass Choir, Toledo Community Youth Choir, and the MADD Poet Society performed, and the 2014 MLK Scholarship recipients were recognized.
WGTE Public Television broadcasted the event. A free community luncheon followed the ceremony.
The Unity Celebration was organized by a committee with co-chairs Dr. Shanda Gore, UT associate vice president of equity, diversity and community engagement, and Rosalinda Contreraz-Harris, executive director of the Toledo Youth Commission.