Tabor gathering reflects on King?s legacy

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed nationwide on Monday, was not just a day for banks to be closed, but for many an opportunity to learn about social change.

Tabor College hosted a special presentation titled ?In Remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.? on Monday morning.

With about 100 students and faculty in attendance, the demonstration started with music from Flowers of Zoey, a married couple from Calgary Alta.

A 23-minute video, ?In Remembrance of Martin? was shown to set the tone. The video was made at the first memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. and covered the Birmingham Campaign, Bloody Sunday and his assassination on April 4, 1968, among other topics.

Christina Taylor, sophomore, spoke on who Martin Luther King, Jr. was, and the difference he made in American society. She included King?s goals of people ?peacefully co-existing together,? and the national holiday named in his honor is not a black festival of ideas, but a celebration of King?s influence on everyone.

Jim Elam, former assistant dean at Tabor, talked about his experiences dealing with diversity. Elam recalled that as a young boy, rocks were thrown at his house and family. He also remembered when his school was integrated and the prank calls that accompanied desegregation.

?(Today) we eat at the same restaurants, ride the same buses, and hold the same jobs,? Elam said. The changes have necessitated psychological challenges as well as legal challenges.

Attitude is the core problem that still exists today, Elam said.

?True changes come from within,? said Elam.

He ended his message by challenging each person in the audience to leave different than they came in.

?Let?s make sure history doesn?t repeat itself,? he said.

Two other Tabor students spoke about others who were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement.

Robert Taylor, fifth-year senior, spoke first, followed by freshman Ben Compton, who spoke about Jesse Jackson.

?The part that stuck out the most for me was what Christina Taylor brought up about Martin Luther King Jr. Day not only being a holiday for blacks, but for other races, too,? said Tim Pauls, a Tabor junior who attended the program.

?And the emphasis wasn?t so much on freedom from racial issues, but freedom from indifference,? he added.

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