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Keynote speaker: King’s dream is alive and well today, education the key

News Release: 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is alive and well today in the community and can be further revived through education, said Racine Police Chief Art Howell at Gateway Technical College’s 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, held Jan. 21 at the college’s Kenosha Campus.

Howell, the event’s keynote speaker, provided three guiding principles for people to continue to revive and bolster King’s dream – reflect, regroup and respond.

“As we consider our charge to revitalize King’s dream through education, we, too, should be careful to nurture character as well as intellect,” said Howe, on the topic of reflection.

To regroup, citizens must continue to work together for the good of the community. “A great deal can be achieved when people of good will come together,” said Howe.

Finally, Howe said responding means engagement – and said it is alive and well in the community.

“As we consider our challenge of reviving the dream through education, we must pause briefly to define the word ‘revive,’” he said. “Simply stated, revive is an action word that requires engagement … So, the task of reviving the dream through education is well underway in our community.”

Gateway Executive Vice President/Provost Zina Haywood said King’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963, which spoke to the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, continues to be a “great beacon of light of hope to the poor, the disenfranchised and the underrepresented people of color of 1963 and to all Americans, then and today.”

“The realization of Dr. King’s dream is the key to success of this nation, this state and this community – and education unlocks the door,” she said.

At the event, Jo Wynn, DaZahn Wilkerson, Jamy Koepke and Trevor Foster were honored as recipients of the 2013 Gateway Technical College Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. The four were selected for exemplifying the daily principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wynn, Kenosha, founded and now directs Walkin’ In My Shoes, a street outreach program that seeks out the homeless in the Kenosha community to help them to safely leave life on the street and secure permanent housing. Koepke, Salem, a Gateway Technical College Medical Assistant student, has overseen several fund-raisers to help out the less fortunate as well as those needing medical assistance for a number of ailments. Foster, Bristol, is a junior at Westosha Central High School and is the founder of the Westosha Central Habitat for Humanity chapter, the first high school chapter in the state. Wilkerson, Racine, a Carthage College student majoring in Physics and Mechanical Engineering, is a youth mentor in the YMCA Young Leaders Academy in Racine.

For more information, contact Jayne Herring, (262) 496-0016.