The Multicultural Diversity Awareness Task Force hosted the Martin Luther King Educational Program on Thursday, February 4, 2010. The guest speaker was Robert Burley, of Burley Consulting. The theme of this year’s program was “Have We Achieved the Dream?”

Burley began the program with a quote from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. “Mother Seton once said, ‘I will fit you for the world you are destined to be in.’” Burley discussed how different experiences he went through prepared him for the world and helped him to realize that promoting change and diversity is necessary.

Burley discussed his own involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. He explained that in the 1960s, college students organized protests and sit-ins in order to gain equality for all. Burley shared some of his experiences during that time period and how he was determined to make a difference.

“Civil Rights isn’t about changing people’s perceptions, it’s about changing people,” said Burley.

Burley was very connected with the audience. He engaged them with questions and prompted their participation. He urged the audience to volunteer and to make a change in society.

“Don’t volunteer because you feel forced to do it. Do it because you want to make a change,” said Burley.

At the conclusion of the lecture, Burley gave tips on how to reduce prejudice and discrimination. He asked the audience to reflect upon a time when they had discriminated against someone based on their age, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. After the audience had a few minutes to reflect, Burley encouraged the audience to stop judging one another based on preconceived notions. He promoted diversity and influenced students to have a zero tolerance for non- inclusive behavior.

“Understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. Continue to challenge yourself and others and begin to grow in diversity,” said Burley.