Lecture series honors legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The city of Lake Charles’ Leadership Team for Community Diversity and Inclusion hosted a Brown Bag Lecture Series on Wednesday honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Led by Michael Snowden, chief diversity officer for Mc-Neese State University, the lecture shed light on little-known facts concerning King’s life and also gave residents a chance to voice their concerns and ask questions on diversity and inclusion within Southwest Louisiana.

Snowden highlighted many of King’s critics, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“King did not have a cakewalk, even among his wouldbe supporters,” he said.

Despite King’s assassination and angst-filled journey toward justice, his commitment to political, social and racial justice left Snowden with a great sense of “responsibility, pride and privilege,” he said.

Snowden said he grew up in Mobile, Ala., shortly after the federal desegregation order, in which King’s work was instrumental.

“Yes, we still have barriers, but we at least now have options,” he said.

All citizens must take advantage of the civic opportunities provided to them through King’s sacrifice, he said.

“Anytime you have the chance to vote, go vote,” Snowden said. “I don’t care if it’s for the dog catcher. It is our responsibility in light of King’s fight.”

Many of the current social justice movements, including “Me Too” and “Black Lives Matter,” “are building on (King’s) legacy and owe a significant debt” to him, Snowden said.

Snowden said true change can happen by pushing the movement beyond posts on social media.

“We must close the gap from simply 140 characters to grass roots alliances face to face or in people’s homes,” he said. “It must be more than just pressing send.”

For more information on the Brown Bag Lecture series, visit cityoflakecharles.com.

””MLKMGN Online

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