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Celebrating King’s legacy

“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”

Those are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that were celebrated along with his legacy Monday night at the community celebration at Ohio University Southern.

Members of the community and the campus gathered in the Mains Rotunda at OUS for the 19th annual event.

“The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is one of bringing the community together,” Bill Willan, OUS dean, said. “As an institute of higher education we’re here to celebrate culture, to educate about it and we feel this event achieves those goals.”

The event began with music from Dr. J’s All Star Band and the presentation of colors by local Boy Scout Troop 106. The evening also included inspirational dances from the Yvonne Dekay School of Dance and readings by local church members and volunteers.

Dr. King’s message is about doing for others, Willan said.

“The volunteers who came in and gave of themselves and helped us are a part of that,” he said.

Between presentations from participants, videos of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speeches were displayed.

Robert Pleasant, director of student services and a member of the diversity and cultural enrichment committee at OUS, coordinated the event.

“I think it gives us all an opportunity to come together and learn from the past, not live in the past, but learn from it,” Pleasant said.

There is still work to be done to achieve King’s dream, Pleasant said.

King was not just interested in racial equality, but also health care and education, he said.

“Those are still things we’re trying to work on,” Pleasant said.

Charles Jarrett, chairman of the diversity and cultural enrichment committee said he wanted this year’s event to feature a variety of participants.

“We wanted to have music, education and to involve young people and to have more a variety,” Jarrett said. “And I think it worked out pretty well.”