Jackson College held its Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Saturday January 18, 2020. The event took place on the Jackson College campus in the Vic Cuiss Fieldhouse. The celebration was attended by well over 600 persons, including political figures Michigan State Representative Julie Alexander and Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies.
The keynote speaker was Khari Willis, former Lumen Christi and Michigan State standout, and now starting safety for the Indianapolis Colts. “I think positive”, commented Willis. “Because what you think, that’s usually what you do, and what you do, that makes who you are. Maybe young kids today can use these questions on a day to day basis. I like to make sure I am always locked in on what’s the “big picture.” And for me, the big picture is Jackson, my community. My ultimate goal is to be in a position where I can help uplift my community and bring athletes out of my community.”
The MLK Medal of Honor Service Award went to Jackson’s own Arlene Robinson, a well-deserving selection indeed. “I’m very grateful for this award”, commented Robinson. “I have always lived in Jackson and I love serving.” Robinson served as Jackson County NAACP President for 12 years, and is the current 1st ward city councilwoman since 2013. She acknowledged ExRhodes and Sadie Barham, as well as Carl Breeding and Maxine Vincent as being role models and character references in her life.
The evening also included the Tia Allen success story. Allen shared how she overcame obstacle after obstacle, living in Detroit, to becoming an honor roll student at Jackson College, and slated to graduate in May.
Those in attendance were treated to a delicious meal, as well as words of inspiration from President Dan Phelan, Chief Diversity Officer Lee Hampton, Multicultural Director Kelly Crum, and the Men of Merit and Sisters of Strength, Directed by Antoine Breedlove.