UCA encouraged students to pursue their dreams at a “Dr. King had a Dream…What is Yours?” prayer breakfast honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Office of Diversity and Community sponsored the ceremony, which was at 9 a.m. Jan. 17 in the Student Center Ballroom.
Associate Director and Master of Ceremonies Kaylon Bradford opened the prayer breakfast with illustrating his dreams as a young sixth grader who “just wanted to be like Dr. King.”
An opening prayer followed introductions and sophomore Cody Jefferson sang the Negro National Anthem.
UCA President Tom Courtway expressed his gratitude to the Office of Diversity and Community and introduced important attendees, including Congressman Tim Griffin, State Representative Jason Rapert, Circuit Judge HG Foster, City Attorney Mike Murphy and Conway Mayor Tab Townsell.
Courtway ended with a quote from King’s speech, “The Purpose of Education.”
“The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically,” Courtway said. “But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.”
Benton high school student Nakayla gained the largest round of applause that morning when reading her published poem, “Dreams Are Not Meant to Be Broken.”
Benson’s poem included the following line: “George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela; what are you going to do to put yourself in that category? Dreams don’t work unless you do.”
The guest speaker, UCA Board of Trustees member Victor Green, went back in time to replay King’s legacy.
Green said his father told him he could do or dream anything he set his mind to.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something,” his father said. “But I want you to know that that does come with a qualifier. Just dreaming doesn’t do anything. Dreaming in [and]of itself isn’t effective. It involves sacrifice. Think about Dr. King. Those speeches of his dreams followed up with action and movement.”
Green said he was very grateful that Angela Jackson, Director of the Office of Diversity and Community, asked him to be the guest speaker.
“Out of all the people she could have picked, she picked me,” Green said. “And I am very humbled about that.”
Junior Kameron Lovelace said he was honored to volunteer and be a part of the prayer breakfast.
“Dr. King has had so much impact on my life and I know he has to everyone else as well,” Lovelace said. “I want to thank the Office of Diversity and Community for honoring and continuing Dr. King’s legacy today.”
The ceremony ended with the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have got to keep moving forward.”