Ferris State University, as well as many different committees, planned a series of events to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy has held an impact on Ferris throughout the years.
“Diversity is one of the University’s core values and we, the members of the University, are challenged to embrace this value in our policies and practices,” David Pilgrim, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, said.
Throughout the years, Ferris has made it a priority to limit segregation and become a more unified body.
“During my two decades at Ferris, I have watched the University become more intentional in its efforts to make the University more welcoming to all groups,” Pilgrim said. “For example, the University is certainly more welcoming to LGBTQ faculty, staff and students than in the past.”
Tyree Reed, a sophomore in public relations at Ferris, referred to the various events held on campus as very interactive and inspiring.
“I feel it honors MLK in a very respectable way. It also brings awareness to other civil rights issues, and provides a chance to promote diversity outside of our everyday interactions,” Reed said.
Pilgrim said although the United States is a more democratic and egalitarian society than in the past, we are not yet a nation where all people and groups are treated. This is clear when one visits the Tunnel of Oppression. To honor MLK day, Reed usually looks back at some clips of MLK’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech as he finds it very inspirational to this day.
“I feel it’s very important that the University and everyone is involved in this important part of history,” dental hygiene junior Tara Mlynarek said. “It shows to the community we care and this is a time we can all come together as one.”
As the years go on, the University has made more of an effort to involve everyone.
“There are greater resources devoted to making sure that international students attend the institution. Efforts have been made to mainstream and appreciate the work of the Office of Multicultural Student Services,” Pilgrim said.
“There are significant challenges ahead, but we are on the right path,” Pilgrim added.
Reed shared one of his favorite quotes by Marriane Williamson: “…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
“I believe MLK Day is an ample part to our American history. For one man to stand up and make a difference and fight for what he believed (among what others believed in) is amazing; it truly shows the power of one,” Reed said.
“MLK fought for civil rights for all. He was a man of character and humility and because he had a dream, he changed not only America but also