Rio Salado Hosts MLK Celebration with Keynote by U.S. Representative Greg Stanton
Recognizing past Civil Rights Movements, present social divisions and hopes for a united future, Rio Salado College employees and guests joined together Jan. 15 for the college’s third annual MLK Celebration to honor and remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event keynote speaker was U.S. Representative Greg Stanton, who serves Arizona’s Congressional District 9, which includes Tempe, AZ, Rio Salado’s headquarters. Watch the event now.
The 2021 MLK Celebration embraced the theme of Realizing the Dream as a tribute to the work of King and those who helped lead and continue the Civil Rights Movement.
Rio Salado employees and guests gathered on Zoom to hear poignant reflections from presenters about experiencing discrimination and racism, how the work of King and the Civil Rights Movement has affected their lives, and how they are realizing the dream and protecting its future.
Rep. Stanton paid homage to King and recently departed civil rights icons including Georgia U.S. Representative John Lewis and Phoenix Vice Mayor and Councilman Calvin C. Goode— while reminding attendees about the volatile state of the country’s divisions and the work that must continue to preserve civil rights, justice and democracy.
Following in the tradition of past events, employees shared an eloquent recital of King’s I Have a Dream speech.
Rio Salado Interim President Kate Smith also shared remarks about King’s legacy and what the dream means to her.
"To me, realizing the dream is the day when it is commonplace for a woman of color to be the vice president-elect of the country— rather than ‘the first,’ when the zip code we are born into no longer defines our future opportunities in this country, and when we are no longer divided. It is when we recognize every human being for who they are, the gifts, talents, and potential every person embodies. And it is when we embrace difference, difference of thought, difference of beliefs, difference of ways of being— difference as the fabrics that are woven together to make a beautiful whole."
We encourage you to take pause today to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by watching the event in its entirety on our YouTube channel.
We also encourage you to reflect and learn more about Dr. King and the efforts forged during the Civil Rights Movement with our MLK Day library guide.
Rio Salado stands united to continue Dr. King’s work, to champion hope and to help build a brighter future. King’s words in 1963 still ring true today, and serve as a guiding principle for our college:
"Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice."
This event was presented by Rio Salado’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee to help foster a culture that values and honors everyone's unique qualities with respect and dignity.