Luncheon honors and celebrates Dr. King

Weekend Anchor, Ms. Ke'Sha Lopez, interviews Director of Police and Security Operation, Mr. David Pollard, who acts as MLK Jr. during the MLK Luncheon. Brittney Matthews | Multimedia Journalist

By Tyler Bui | Assistant News Editor

The twelfth Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Luncheon was held at noon on Jan. 22 in Cashion to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments. The event was hosted by the Baylor Department of Multicultural Affairs.

The event featured guest speakers Ke’Sha Lopez, weekend anchor for KWTX News 10 and David Pollard, director of police and security operations for Texas Medical Center. The two conducted an interview from the perspective of Dr. King titled, “What if we could interview Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2020?”

Opening remarks were given by Pearl Beverly, director of multicultural affairs at Baylor, who honored certain individuals who hold leadership roles at Baylor. Senior Coordinator for outreach and inclusion for the Department of Multicultural Affairs Sharyl Loeung presented five students with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship.

The recipients were chosen through an essay application and decisions were based upon their dedication to hard work and service both in and out of the classroom.

Guests were served lunch while Pollard and Lopez took the stage and discussed different aspects of Dr. King’s life including his childhood and experience with color discrimination following the scholarship presentation.

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Pollard closed with a reenactment of Dr. Kings speech, “How long? Not Long!”

Geoffrey Griggs, assistant director for multicultural affairs at Baylor, said the event is a great way to remind the Baylor and Waco community of Dr. King’s work.

Our university has been very supportive to this event where it not only shares his achievements and accomplishments with those at Baylor but also those in the Waco community as well,” Griggs said. I think it’s a great refresher to remember what he did fight for and to make sure we are still seeing that as we continue on nowadays.

He said that Pollard has been participating in the celebration luncheon every year.

“He’s like family to us. We’ve actually expanded his role this year—In the past, he usually does a reenactment of Martin Luther King’s Speeches and this year it’s interview setting,” Griggs said. “So if Dr. King was here, what are some of the things he would say based on some of the things going on. They’re using words from his previous speeches and applying it to today times.

Rachel Bay, graduate apprentice in the department of multicultural affairs at Baylor, said that this years’ luncheon was unique from past events because an interview setting had never been performed previously.

“The luncheon is really special— it brings together a lot of people from different backgrounds, people from the Baylor campus and people from the Waco community are coming together to celebrate MLK and his legacy,” Bay said.

She said that the main purpose of the luncheon is to not only celebrate Dr. King, but also to recognize how his efforts impact today’s society.

“How can we still celebrate [his] legacy and how can we still implement those same wishes and practices and morals that Dr. King gave us and bring all the people in the community together,” Bay said.

Bay said that it is so important to continue to honor Dr. King because his messages are still very relevant and important today.

It’s important to remember [him] every year so that’s not lost, and it’s important to continue to pass that onto everyone from different backgrounds and walks of life, and from one generation to the next,” Bay said. “What he stood for is so important and it’s something that I try to remember a lot in the work I do in this department.

Griggs said that he hopes people can understand the true magnitude of Dr. King’s accomplishments and impact.

He’s done a lot. We hear some of his major speeches, and some of the main things that he’s done, but we really don’t understand the impact he has had on our society today,” Griggs said. I think it’s good for people to have that reminder, to understand what he has done, the things that he has influenced our community and world with.”