Martin Luther King, Jr. Program
Thursday, February 1, 2018 

Good Morning and welcome to a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Welcome to Seton Hill students, faculty, and staff, and to our student and faculty visitors from Greensburg Central Catholic High School and Greensburg Salem High School. Welcome also to Trooper Kevin Mosely. We thank you for being with us today and for sharing your wisdom and experience with us.

Thank you to the organizers of today’s events and all the participants – our dancers, singers, protestors.  What a beautiful expression of unity through music, dance, and expressive performances

These annual celebrations of Dr. King’s legacy are important – not simply to reflect on the life and work of a great man who led a movement that moved this nation forward exponentially – not only to remember Dr. King and the civil rights movement for the work that was accomplished in the fight against segregation, - poverty  - war. Not just to memorialize a man of God who fifty years ago this year was killed for what he stood for.

Those are all just reasons to come together every year on or around Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, but the real reason we are here is that the work that was begun in the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s is not yet done as the signs of our protesters note. Disparities still exist between our African American, Latino, and white brothers and sisters – in terms of education levels, poverty levels, and opportunity levels.

And disparities still exist – and continue to grow – between the poor and wealthy in our country regardless of race.

Equality of civil and economic rights has not yet been achieved for all Americans.

And acts of anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic aggression have increased dramatically over the last year.  That is why we are here today – because the work of Dr. King and the other great leaders of the civil rights movement is not yet done.  

As an institution of higher education we are committed to transform lives through education. We are committed to provide an education to students of all socio-economic, religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. To provide our students with an education that inspires, informs, and prepares them for the world in a manner that allows them access to a full and meaningful life - including one of economic security.

And as a Catholic, Setonian institution we base our values on the tenets of Catholic social teaching and the belief that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision to society. That commitment to ensure the dignity of each person is integral to our faith and to our role as a Catholic university.

In the last major speech that Dr. King gave, on April 3rd,,  1968, in Memphis, Tennessee,  the night before he was assassinated, he implored his followers with the following: Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.

At this time each year we reflect, we remember, and we recommit to continue Dr. King’s work and, as he challenged us, to do our part to make America a better nation.   

Now I would like to introduce our guest speaker, Mr. Kevin D. Mosley.  Mr. Mosley is a retired Pennsylvania state trooper and writer. His subject is race and ethnicity in America, and his particular field of interest is those places where civil rights milestones occurred. Mr. Mosley has taken part in the anniversaries of moments of triumph, such as the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, as well as revisited sites of terrorism, such as that of Emmet Till’s lynching. Mr. Mosley’s writings and acts of memorialization keep important moments in our history from disappearing into obscurity by not only bearing witness to the painful past that has shaped our present, but also by educating through speaking engagements like this one.  Mr. Mosley currently resides in West Mifflin.