As a new addition to the program this year, faculty lectures on Racism and Civil Rights and Women in the Civil Rights movement were held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Church-Chapel. Those lectures were then followed by the presentation “Institutional Racism: Neighborhood Dumps” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Newcomer Center.
And last but not least — also held for the first time this year — was a special Black Student Union Dinner and Discussion held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Newcomer Center.
During the event, members of the union invited students and members of the Goshen community to stop by, grab some snacks and get settled in for a viewing of the film “American Violet”, a 2008 drama based on the civil rights lawsuit Regina Kelly v. John Paschall, filed on behalf of 15 African-American residents of Hearne, Texas, who were indicted in November 2000 on drug charges after being rounded up in a series of what many considered to be racially motivated drug sweeps.
“This woman, Regina Kelly, she went from being a poor, single mother to being an outspoken activist traveling around and sharing her story,” Harris said of the film. “She’s a real person, and I think that’s why it hits so close to home, because this is still happening today. So that’s why we decided to show the film tonight.”
Martin Banda, a GC student and member of the Black Student Union, praised GC’s long history of celebrating MLK Day during Monday’s event, adding that he was especially excited about the chance to share the work and goals of GC’s Black Student Union with the greater community.
“We really believe in MLK’s emphasis on trying to provide equality to every single race, so we see it as an opportunity to present people with different types of information and viewpoints that they may never have been exposed to before,” Banda said of the union’s participation in Monday’s events. “There has been a lot of progress made, but there is definitely more that still needs to be done, so I definitely think it’s important to take some time out to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of MLK, as well as the efforts that are still going on today in his name.”