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‘Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.’

Dr. King’s dream lives on in the hearts of GPC students

By Sabrina Jamil

A strong advocate of equality, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. conveyed a powerful message in his “I Have A Dream Speech” addressing issues of racism that affected the lives of millions of Americans.

In honor of MLK Day, GPC hosted a Candlelight Vigil on Jan. 21, in order to celebrate his life and the powerful impact he had on guiding our country and world towards equality.

The ceremony began with Clarkston’s SGA President Jonathan Rowe welcoming the audience.

In the ceremony, Director for Student Life, Robert Bryant, explained that the purpose of this event was not only to celebrate MLK Day but also to realize that together, everybody can make a difference.

Immediately following Bryant’s introduction, the Vice President of SGA, Aissata Diallo, began the candle lighting ceremony during which each participant lit his or her candle.

As the ceremony continued, JAG Publicity Chair, Nzinga Ogle, began to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and participants sang in unison with her. The lyrics of the song brought a great deal of emotion into the ceremony.

“It united the school body, gave the event a historical impact and really fed the purpose of MLK Day,” participating student Sarah Mohamed said. “It wasn’t just a social or fun event; it was eye-opening. I viewed Dr. King as a civil rights leader, but after being a part of the event, I recognize he’s even greater.”

Subsequently, Clarkston Dean of Student Affairs Matthew Robison gave a speech reflecting on some of King’s works, demonstrating just how powerful it was for one man to make such an incredible difference.

Theatre student Stephon Ferguson then gave a dramatic performance of King’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

At the end of the celebration, the participants held hands and sang “We Shall Overcome.”

Participants’ reactions to the performance were emotional.

“The ceremony made me feel unified and peace in heart,” student Aissata Diallo explained. “The speeches and performances made me more emotionally connected. Especially Stephon Ferguson’s dramatic performance felt as if Dr. King was with us. This celebration was truly touching and opened my eyes to a lot more.”

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