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Community Hears from Freedom Writer at MSJC’s annual MLK Day Breakfast


The community gathered at Mt. San Jacinto College’s Menifee Valley Campus this week to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and hear from Narada Comans, one of the original Freedom Writers.

MSJC’s annual MLK Day Breakfast was held for the first time at the Menifee Valley Campus. Comans was among the group of students from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach who formed the Freedom Writers in teacher Erin Gruwell’s class. Their writings to improve their lives were published in a book called The Freedom Writers’ Diary and made famous in the 2007 movie starring Hilary Swank.

Comans referenced Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech and shared with the audience that he recently lost his mother, who had big dreams for her son. "She had a dream for me and now I have to live that dream the rest of my life for her," Comans said. "What I want to leave you with is who or what needs you to dream for them? It could be someone in your home or . . . look in the mirror. It could be for you . . . it could be loved ones or the community that you serve . . . Live your dream and be the dream for other people."

MSJC has a decades-long tradition of inviting the community and students to celebrate the life and work of Dr. King. MSJC is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. In 2019, MSJC created its Equity Pledge to remove barriers for our students. In 2020, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to support dismantling systemic racism. The college has a three-year Strategic Equity Plan. Last week, the board approved a new position: Director of African American & Black Student Success Initiatives. 

Dr. Robert Hill

Dr. Robert Hill, interim UMOJA coordinator, welcomes attendees to the Annual MLK Breakfast Celebration at Mt. San Jacinto College on Jan. 17, 2024.

Freedom Writer Narada Comans

Narada Comans, an Original Freedom Writer, NY Times Best Seller, Emmy Winner, and Motivational Speaker, speaks about his story at the Annual MLK Breakfast Celebration at Mt. San Jacinto College on Jan. 17, 2024.