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King-Day Speaker Assigns Homework, Holds Faculty/Staff Q&A

'Martin Luther King is more than a holiday,' ACC audience told Malikah Shabazz reflects on the differences (and less-well-known similarities) between King and her father, Malcolm X PDC conference room filled for faculty/staff presentation A strategy for mutual understanding Students urged to write their own history The youngest daughter of Malcolm X challenged Penn College students to find personal meaning in Martin Luther King’s words Monday night, issuing a potentially rewarding writing assignment in the process. Speaking at Klump Academic Center in observance of the King Day of Service, educator Malikah Shabazz shared the civil-rights leader’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and asked students to reinterpret it for their own situation. “Go online. Read it. Think about it. And try to ask yourself, at this point in your life: What is your purpose on this earth? Why are you at this (college) and why are you learning what you’re learning?” she said, urging students to make the most of their academic privilege. “Take advantage of it; this is your beginning.” Shabazz invited students to submit one- to three-page papers about the 1964 Nobel address, telling them their thoughts would be sent to The King Center in Atlanta to compete for two $1,000 prizes and five $500 awards. Accompanied by her 12-year-old daughter, she also held an afternoon question-and-answer session in the Thompson Professional Development Center, offering her perspective on “re-encouraging” students about the value of education amid an economic downturn, faculty’s role in cultivating critical thinking, and raising awareness of diversity on and off campus. “Everyone first has to be open to learning about other people their culture, their language, what they eat,” she said. “That’s what makes someone of a different background feel comfortable, feel like part of your environment. There’s not just one culture, one language, one food, one gender. Be genuinely interested in other people.” Shabazz’s visit was sponsored by the college’s Cultural Life Committee, chaired by Kas A. Williams.

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