Hundreds gathered in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at a celebration hosted by Florida State University’s Civil Rights Institute (CRI) under the leadership of Director Ted Ellis on Jan. 15 in the Champions Club West Ballroom.
The event kicked off a week-long celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a keynote address delivered by the Rev. Dr. R. B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee.
Holmes reflected on the work of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders in his address and praised the university for its work to advance equity for all.
“Every person in this nation, thank God for the good work at Florida State University,” Holmes said. “Every person in this nation deserves truth, life, fairness and equity.”
The Civil Rights Institute at FSU unveiled the C.K. Steele Speaker Series. Named after Rev. Charles Kenzie Steele, a prominent and dynamic Tallahassee-based leader in the Civil Rights Movement, this series perpetuates Rev. Steele’s legacy through organizing enlightening lectures, workshops, and community discussions. The purpose is to provide a platform for conversations on issues, historical perspectives, and contemporary challenges in the area of Civil Rights.
Throughout the program, attendees also enjoyed remarks from FSU President Richard McCullough and Provost Jim Clark, CRI Co-founders Fred and Doby Flowers, as well as performances by Dr. Marci’a Porter, FSU Gospel Chair; FSU’s Gospel Choir; Pastor LaNorris McFadden and First Lady of Shady Grove Primitive Baptist Church II; and Darryl Tookes, director of Florida A&M University Institute of Music Research and Music Industries Studies.
The Civil Rights Institute at FSU commemorates, celebrates and studies the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to promote justice and equality. Housed within FSU’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP), the Civil Rights Institute aims to bring together students, faculty and staff from across academic disciplines including African American studies, sociology, public health, urban and regional planning, criminology, social work, medicine, nursing and education.
For future updates from the Institute, visit coss.fsu.edu/cri.