Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reflections on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Education | by Brigitte Blom Ramsey

On Monday of this week, I was honored to be a presenter at Lexington’s 23rd Annual Unity Breakfast hosted by the Education Foundation of theAlpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  The theme for this year’s program was Unity: Make it Your Lifestyle. More than 1,700 people attend the 6:45 a.m. breakfast which honors the work and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Presenters each year are asked to provide reflections on Dr. King’s influence in four areas.  This year’s line up included:

Ms. Ollie Rashid – Humanitarian
Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Dr. Roger Cleveland – Civil Rights
Eastern Kentucky University

Dr. Seamus Carey – Spiritual Leader
Transylvania University

Brigitte Blom Ramsey – Education
Prichard Committee

The day of celebration and reflection delivered repeated doses of inspiration through word and song, with a particularly moving rendition of “His Eyes are on the Sparrow” by Ms. Jessica Bush

Unity awards are given every year to individuals or organizations believed to exemplify the true legacy of Dr. King.  This year’s recipients were Mr. Jesse Crenshaw, a former member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, and Mr. Josh Nadzem, co-founder of On the Move Art Studio.  A special salute was given to Kentucky’s 2013 Poet Laureate, Mr. Frank X. Walker.  Zoe Jenkins of Winburn Middle School, Rose McClanahan of Morton Middle School and Ellie Adams of SCAPA at Bluegrass were also recognized for their essays about unity. 

Alpha Beta Lambda is the local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. which was the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity in the United States established for men of African descent.  Alpha Phi Alpha was established in 1906 at Cornell University with solid foundational principles of “scholarship, fellowship, good character and the uplifting of humanity”.  Lexington’s Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter was founded in 1928.  They focus on educational programs, including: scholarships for local youth, tutoring at William Wells Brown Elementary School, and community outreach in support of the March of Dimes and God’s Pantry Food Bank.  Two Chapter members are also members of the Prichard Committee - Mr. William H. Wilson and Mr. Emmanuel Washington.  

We are grateful to the Education Foundation of Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for allowing us to be part of the 23rd Unity Breakfast.   

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