The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

‘Living the dream;’ remembering King

Students marched with lit candles Monday evening in the same way Martin Luther King Jr. did in his March on Washington in 1963, where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Students met in the lobby of Thomas Hall and then proceeded to march to the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union for some music, poetry and a keynote speaker.

“I came tonight because Alpha Phi Alpha has been putting it on for years, and it gives the campus a chance to come together and realize his vision,” said Shawn Peoples, assistant director of student standards.

Darius White, Alpha Phi Alpha President, said the fraternity puts on the event every year to honor Martin Luther King Jr. as one of the fraternity’s brothers and to honor his non-violent philosophy on solving problems.

Alpha Phi Alpha has been putting on this event for 22 years.

This year, the main theme was “Living the Dream” and the keynote speaker, Angela Grimes, touched on this by telling Eastern students to stand up for what they believe in, wake up and accomplish their dreams and not let excuses stand in their way.

Grimes graduated from Eastern in 1997 and ran into some bumps after she graduated in the way of getting a job. However, she still believed in herself and her goals and pushed herself to move forward.

She talked about how she had to let go of baggage, such as a negative attitude and friends who did not encourage her.

Students who attended said they decided to accomplish their goals and believe in themselves more.

“It was compelling and realistic,” said Stephen Tyler, a corporate communications major. “We are our greatest motivators, and if you fail, it is because of you and no one else.”

Akia Harper, a sophomore sociology major, liked how the speaker had a goal and strived for that goal.

“I liked how the speaker talked about letting go of baggage, and from now on, I will say to myself that I can do it and push through the obstacles,” she said.

Grimes said she wanted to empower students on campus to know they can achieve whatever they set out to be no matter what. She also said that she wants to be an example at her former school, showing people that if a person has a goal, they can always move forward.

Grimes wanted students who attended the event to realize that they have come a long way and they should not give up on themselves.

“If Dr. King can fight to the end, who says we should stop now,” Grimes said.

She also mentioned how Martin Luther King Jr. helped blacks go from unemployment to employment and from injustice to equality and how this should not be forgotten.

“You can always light your candle and reignite what he has established,” Grimes said.

Students also collected money to donate to Haiti at the event.

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].

‘Living the dream;’ remembering King

Living the dream; remembering King

Music group Time of Change performs Monday night in the Martin Luther King Jr. Grand Ballroom during the program “Living the Dream” presented by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Zeta Nu Chapter.(Chelsea Grady/The Daily Eastern News)

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