SIUE Mass Communications professor honored at MLK Luncheon

SIUE’s Martin Luther King Luncheon on Jan. 20 served as a reminder that certain aspects of his life must not be forgotten.

Dr. Musonda Kapatamoyo, Mass Communications professor, receives the Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Humanitarian Award on Jan. 20. (Photo by Joseph Lacdan)

Dr. Musonda Kapatamoyo, Mass Communications professor, receives the Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Humanitarian Award on Jan. 20. (Photo by Joseph Lacdan)

Dr. King’s activism, and his call to Americans of any race to act against injustice. Keynote speaker Traci Blackmon said Americans should remember how King challenged others to take action and push for change.

“If we are truly to celebrate King, we must not forget the dream. But have to become a nation adept at distancing our celebration from our sins,” said Blackmon. “It is easiest to embrace the King, who invites us to dream, than the one who challenges us to deconstruct our oppressive ideology.”

Blackmon, the first female pastor in the 156-year history of Christ the King, said Americans must be called out and held accountable for the mistreatment and neglect for the welfare of African Americans. She addressed American prisons overwhelmingly being filled with black or Latino inmates. She addressed the crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Detroit suburb of mostly black residents has been drinking lead contaminated water. She also pointed to Illinois governor Bruce Rauner for health cuts in education and social services.

“As we celebrate the dream, we must also lift up this growing collective of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic voice uniting to proclaim black lives matter,” Rev. Blackmon said. “Black lives matter not to ignore or devalue anyone else’s life, but rather to affirm the full humanity of every life.”

Members of the SIUE community were honored for exemplifying those values, including Mass Communications professor Musonda Kapatamoyo. Kapatamoyo, who specializes in teaching new media and web design, earned the MLK Faculty Humanitarian award. Kapatamoyo, in addition to his roles on campus, also serves the community as a Cub Scout leader and helping fellow Zambians get accustomed to American life. Kapatamoyo said he believes in the African “Ubuntu philosophy,” a frame of thought that holds an individual’s humanity is linked to others.

“Dr. King achieved so much in his short life,” Kapatamoyo said. “However, he left us a legacy that we can all expand upon. For example, I love this quote from Dr. King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Here, Dr. King. Jr is asking all of us to just give an extra hand … Ubuntu is essentially the idea that I am a human because the person next to me is human as well. In practice, this makes me believe that reaching out to others just to listen or actively lend a hand will make the world a better place.”

Dr. Narbeth Emmanuel, a former SIUE Vice Chancellor for Student received the community award. Emmanuel has served the SIUE and surrounding communities for 20 years in a variety of capacities. Emmanuel received the MLK Community Award. Dr. Emmanuel retired in 2015 after serving SIUE for nearly two decades.

The SIUE Gospel Choir provided a musical number in tribute to Dr. King during the luncheon.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: African StudiesMass CommunicationsPeace & Intl StudiesPhilosophyPolitical SciencePublic Admin & PolicySocial WorkSpeech Communication

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site