The SGA Campus Community Committee is hosting an MLK event on Monday, Jan. 20, from 7-9 p.m. in the BTS atrium to remember the civil rights movement in the 1960s and to inspire students to fight for social justice issues they believe in today.
Thomas Redic, former director of the Campus Community Committee, and Alex MacPhail-Fausey, one of the committee members, said the greater focus of the event is on social justice rather than diversity. They said Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream can be applied to poverty, sex trafficking and other social issues.
“This isn’t just about race relations,” said Redic, who transferred to Wright State University this semester. “Here is an example of a person who fought for what he believed in.”
The civil rights movement hasn’t necessarily ended and there’s still great need for civil rights reform, said MacPhail-Fausey.
“Human trafficking is still around, and slavery still exists,” MacPhail-Fausey said. “Civil rights goes beyond just skin color. It’s treating human beings like other human beings and like equals, no matter what they may be dealing with.”
Thalia Melendez, another member of the committee, said there are lessons to be learned from history.
“Sometimes we’re like, ‘Oh, this thing happened, time to move on,’ and for a day remember it,” she said. “But it’s something that needs to be, ‘This is where our culture has been, and we don’t want to go back to that, so we have to be in constant remembrance of what it was and what we can do to better our society.’”
Redic said he believes that people sometimes get the wrong idea about diversity. He said sometimes people use the word diversity as a weapon to promote their agendas or guilt trip others, but he wants people who come to the event to see that the committee is not trying to push an agenda.
MacPhail-Fausey said it’s important to be open to people who are different.
“Even if in the end you don’t agree with everything they stand for and you don’t agree with everything that they do,” he said, “you still come to an appreciation and understand more about the world and more about different cultures and different backgrounds and just become more of a full human being.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated Jan. 21, 2014, to reflect that Thomas Redic now attends Wright State.
Jen Taggart is a freshman journalism major and reporter for Cedars. She enjoys writing, listening to music and fueling her chocolate addiction.