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Amir Jackson and Barry Gomberg spoke in the Shepherd Union Atrium about the importance of service and of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Diversity Board with the Weber State University Student Association put on the event in the Shepherd Union Building. The event was for the Martin Luther King Jr. service week and a call to action to be involved in the community.
Brenda Kowalewski, director of the Community Involvement Center, asked Jackson to give a speech at this event. The board showed King’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” After showing the full speech, Jackson walked onstage and gave his own speech he wrote for this event. Jackson spoke about the importance of service to a quiet crowd in the atrium and received loud applause when he finished.
“Everyone came from a mother and father. They are different, but still human. Their story could be yours,” said Jackson while talking about the homeless and less-fortunate people.
Hollie Campbell, who had just gotten out of class and was walking by, said she was hooked in by King’s speech and stayed to hear Jackson.
“I am grateful for individuals with passionate hearts for what they believe in, because it helps enable my own heart to change,” said Campbell after hearing Jackson speak.
Campbell said it was the first time she really sat down and listened to King’s speech and that she felt moved by it.
Sandi Weber, who came to the atrium specifically for the event, works for the Diversity Board. She wasn’t able to hear Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, but caught Jackson’s words.
“After Jackson’s speech, I felt the need to do, to take action, to make a difference and not just talk about things that need to change,” Weber said.
The Diversity Board has been setting up events over the last few days sponsoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“There is nothing better than volunteering,” Weber said.
When the event was over, Jackson stayed around to talk to anyone who had questions or was curious about his speech. Jackson said the motivation for his speech came from watching King’s videos online and realizing how young he was.
“Dr. King was young and at a college age, but had a huge impact,” Jackson said. “Someone listening to my speech could be the next Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King is you, and you are him. Something my grandma used to say was ‘the longest journey starts with a single step.’ Some of us can’t be the next Martin Luther King, but we don’t realize the people that were behind Martin Luther King. You can make a difference by just taking a single step. You can’t wait for someone else to go first. You have to step for yourself.”
There will be more events during the week for Martin Luther King Jr. Week of Service. On Thursday, WSU will host an event to tie fleece blanks and knit hats to donate to St. Anne’s Center. On Saturday, Habitat for Humanity will host a community outreach program. More information on Martin Luther King Jr. Service Week is available at www.weber.edu/diversity or www.weber.edu/communityinvolvement.