Giving Voice to the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In honor of the program’s theme, “The Power of Voice,” quotes from the participants are included below.
“Officials in my country actively promoted the differences between people.” – SHU student from Rwanda
“I remember … officials giving out machetes, along with a list of people … to be executed.” – SHU student from Rwanda
“We know about the six million killed in World War II, for much the same reasons as they were killed in my country. The world swore it would never happen again. They were wrong. And if you think that it cannot happen here, then, my friend, you are wrong as well.” – SHU student from Rwanda
“I imagine that Wiesel agonized as he re-lived his time in the concentration camp… he said that he needed to give voice to those who had none of their own… He recently said it’s important now to speak out about Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur…” Sylvia Hill Fields, discussing one of her heroes, Elie Wiesel
“My job is to make sure that Mueller’s voice still speaks eighty years after his death.” - Sylvia Hill Fields, discussing Sebastian Mueller, who, during his lifetime, worked to improve conditions for the poor and disadvantaged, promoted education, supported health facilities and projects, and provided aid to women and children. The Eden Hall Foundation was established pursuant to the will of Sebastian Mueller.
“My daughter learned early on the price that will be paid for speaking up, and speaking out.” – Sylvia Hill Fields, discussing her thirteen-year-old daughter, Jettie, who found herself out of favor with some of her schoolmates after organizing a boycott of suggestive t-shirts for young girls being sold at a major retailer. (Undeterred, Jettie is now working on an initiative to protest the portrayal of women, and African-American women in general, in many music videos.)
“Many of my clients have been marginalized. They are society’s forgotten people, and they have learned that society expects nothing from them … Many of my clients have no voice, and yet they sing, and make music.” – Laurie Jones
“Everyone has a song to sing. Everyone has a story to tell. We need to tell our stories. And help others to tell theirs.” - Laurie Jones
“No more dress rehearsals. We have to perform the play… We can’t just keeping talking about making a difference. We have to do it now.” - SHU senior Scott Karan, speaking for a group of students
“Like Martin Luther King, we need to do things that won’t just benefit us now, but will help the next generation.” - SHU junior David Phaire, speaking for a group of students
“We can’t think of others as ‘different’. Thinking of others as ‘different’ too easily leads to fear, and to thinking of others as ‘less.’” – SHU senior Kate Ward, speaking on behalf of a group of students, faculty and staff
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Program and “Take the Day On” Saturday of community service, are coordinated annually in honor of Dr. King by the Multicultural Task Force of Seton Hill’s Mission Effective Committee.