“What is clear is that we will no longer be able to stay away from people who are different from ourselves,” Brown said. “Those who are educated, who have an understanding that we belong to the whole world. We belong to each other. We are one. This requires engagement on the part of all of us with those that are different from ourselves.”
Brown said that by addressing current issues and acknowledging the past and the work of Martin Luther King Jr., King’s legacy is kept alive.
“We need to address our current problems,” Brown said. “To contextualize (King) and keep him in the ‘60s makes him irrelevant. We have to bring what he stood for in to this present discourse so that it can impact and so that it can be a positive force for change.”
Brown said that he was happy to speak not just about King’s work in the ‘60s, but that he was able to make the speech more broad and put King’s ideas into today’s world. By doing that, Brown said, King lives on and stays relevant.
“So I think on this day we should be dealing with all kinds of things, not just the dream that he had,” Brown said. “It was fine, (but) we need to contemporize him for these times. Martin Luther King would be proud of our keeping his legacy alive through using some of his ideas for this current time. And then he doesn’t die, he stays alive.”
The college’s study day featured other seminars and discussions. The school’s website states that the day is meant to “emphasiz(e) the values and ideals that characterized King’s work.”