January 19, 2016
Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were remembered and messages of tolerance and equality were shared on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 during the 10th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast at Mt. San Jacinto College.
Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, served as the event’s featured speaker. As a child who grew up in a Coachella Valley trailer park, he encouraged students and other guests to persevere despite obstacles. He reminded the audience that civil rights leaders like Dr. King sacrificed their lives for equality. Ruiz became an emergency room doctor and now serves in Congress.
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for inspirational leaders …like Dr. King and Cesar Chavez,” Ruiz said.
The event, organized and sponsored by the MSJC Diversity Committee, was free and open to the public. It included a full breakfast, an art contest for MSJC students, presentations on the theme of the day “Expressions of tolerance, acceptance, human rights and equality,” as well as a performance by a gospel choir and African drummers. It was held at MSJC’s San Jacinto Campus and featured performances by Homeland First Church of God choir and Julie Simon Tropicaleiza and the ASM Bateria African Drummers. Adjunct professor David Monda presented the “5 Things You Need to Know About the Civil Rights Movement and Africa.” Jetea Johnson gave a talk titled “Universal Truths Connect the Dots. Unsung Heroes and Sheroes.” Presentation of the art contest winners was given by MSJC professors Eileen Doktorski and Millie Baez. Willie Hamilton, who organizes the event with the MSJC Diversity Committee, provided closing thoughts.
MSJC board President Tom Ashley, trustees Ann Motte and Dr. Sherrie Guerrero and Dr. Roger Schultz, MSJC superintendent/president, and Dr. Bill Vincent, vice president of Student Services, attended the celebration.
See more: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast 2016 photos on Flickr
MSJC student Mya Correa won first place in the MLK student art contest for a sculpture titled “Heart.”
Other students who won were: Sarah Zughayer, 2nd place, with her piece titled “♀”; and Kimberly Sayer, 3rd place, with her artwork titled “Be the Difference.”