New generations. New dreams.
Those phrases epitomize today’s work to make the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a reality for a new generation, according to several speakers at Gateway Technical College’s 24th Annual Dr. King celebration, held on the college’s Kenosha Campus on Monday.
“We are so proud of the next generation, a generation driven by hope, by a future where we dream big and where we lift others up to their dreams,” said event speaker U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
“My dream is that we are no longer celebrating the dream – we are living the dream,” said Zina Haywood, Gateway executive vice president/provost.
The event format featured a panel discussion on this year’s theme of “New Generations. New Dreams” moderated by Adelene Greene, chair of the Coalition for Dismantling Racism. The panel was intergenerational, made up of Dionna Gavin, organizational development business partner, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin; Dorothy Walker, dean, School of Technology and Applied Sciences, Milwaukee Area Technical College; and Kenosha Harborside Academy students David Harrell II and Maxwell Walker.
Panelists were asked to answer the question of whether they believed they were living the American dream, Dr. King’s dream, neither or both. Most said they believed they were living the American Dream, but not entirely Dr. King’s dream.
“I am living the American dream. I have two parents, they own a house, they have cars for which they are able to pay,” said Harrell. “But, at the same time, it’s like a puzzle piece is missing without living Dr. King’s dream because for certain things, it’s sort of awkward doing them. Such as, walking into places, and the looks I get because I am a big, 6-foot black man.
“It’s a puzzle piece missing, so I feel that at some point I am living the American dream – but I’m not.”
“I think from the perspective of a Baby Boomer, and from my background, I think I have a little bit of both,” said Walker. “The idea, though, is how do you take that and turn that around to be able to help other people realize that same dream, whether it’s the American dream or Dr. King’s dream.
“My generation needs to talk about the opportunities that our young people have today, and let them know – and paint a picture of – how they can get there, how they can be successful and how they can move to where they want to go.”
During the ceremony, Gateway also named GeorgAnn Stinson-Dockery (Racine), Arnetta Griffin (Kenosha) and Michael Graveley (Kenosha) as this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarians, individuals recognized for their contributions to society, their school, business or profession, as well as their dedication to volunteerism or philanthropic work.
DreamKeepers – the winners of the Peace Mentor, Kenosha Kindness Week and Peace Maker Awards – were also recognized at the event.
A link to an archived video of the entire event can be found at https://www.gtc.edu/mlk-jr-celebration.
Stinson-Dockery’s story can be seen here: https://goo.gl/VKTphG
Graveley’s story can be seen here: https://goo.gl/dDhzyL
Griffin’s story can be seen here: https://goo.gl/3AygUW