By Migwe Kimemia, AFSC Dayton Program Director
On April 4, 2018, AFSC, community and student leaders assembled at Sinclair Community College to mark the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. This was a Human Rights Forum that gave the participants the opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy of love, peace and social justice in the world. The participants took turns individually sharing their reflections on this question: What Does Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy Mean Today?
“No American has had a more profound impact on American society," said Amaha Sellassie, Sinclair Community College Instructor and former AFSC college intern. "We must move beyond civil rights which can be taken away at will by political leaders and focus on international human rights that are based on human dignity and social justice.”
Most forum participants challenged all Dayton residents to take action against systemic racism that has affected African American and Native American communities for too long. The participants also called for global awareness and education initiatives with a view to eliminating xenophobia against immigrants.
The forum shared Dr. King’s five strategic actions for creating social change: Gather information; Educate others; Remain committed; Peacefully negotiate; Take action peacefully.
I strongly believe that this is the right time to reenergize and reinvigorate Black Students Unions that fundamentally transformed college campuses during the Civil Rights Movement in this country. The AFSC-sponsored We Dream A World Initiative empowers and inspires students of African descent to lift up their voices and share their dreams for a better world. The goal is transforming college campuses into a welcoming global village that fosters human dignity, immigrant integration and racial justice in Ohio.