Watching the "I Have a Dream" Speech
By: Justin Murray
April 2, 2012
As chaplains in residence, we invited students to join us in our room to watch Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Then we discussed the speech, over ice cream sundaes, and had an informal conversation about the current situation with race and racial justice in 21st century America. After the conversation, we passed around a candle and gave each person an opportunity, if they wished, to share a hope or prayer for the betterment of the world.
Our faculty-in-residence, Professor Marilyn McMorrow, attended the event and contributed her thoughts along with the 12 or so students in attendance.
My wife Sarah and I had the privilege of viewing and discussing the speech with a diverse subset of the students who live with us in McCarthy Hall. Given the longstanding obstacles to fully achieving King's dream of racial (and economic) equality in America, it is sometimes difficult to remain hopeful and to hold on to the dream. Yet hearing the compassionate and insightful thoughts of the students in attendance about these issues led me to the optimistic conclusion that something is stirring in their hearts and in their heads -- something that has real potential to blossom into something great and beautiful. I look forward to seeing these sorts of conversations continue, so that our undergraduates can continue to be formed in their mission to promote justice, but also so that their own insights and passion can challenge and renew those of us on the faculty and staff.