Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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Civil Rights Activist Dr. Julian Bond Keynotes Inaugural MLK Celebration Day

Civil Rights Activist Dr. Julian Bond Keynotes Inaugural MLK Celebration Day

IMSA welcomed civil rights activist Dr. Julian Bond as the keynote speaker for its inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Monday. In addition to Dr. Bond’s speech, the celebration honored Dr. King with spirited performances from IMSA’s students and speeches from IMSA’s alumni, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Julian Bond inspired the IMSA community with his speech, recounting his storied life of activism in the civil rights, economic justice, and peace movements. He showed pictures and told stories about working closely with Dr. King as a part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), his journey to the Georgia state government where he spent 20 years in the House and Senate, and about meeting iconic figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, Muhammad Ali, and Nelson Mandela. “We are a very different country today than we were in the Civil Rights Movement, thanks to thousands who gave for an extraordinary cause,” said Dr. Bond, concluding his speech. “Dr. King dedicated his life to fighting for justice and peace, and we all ought to do the same.”

The celebration included a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King by Dwan LaMar Prude, a Class of ‘97 alumnus from East St. Louis who gave impassioned speeches recently at IMSA’s Convocation in 2012 and after receiving the IMSA Titan award. Prude honored Dr. King, as well as Dr. Bond, and spoke to the IMSA community about achieving one’s goals through adversity. "Success is gracefully discovering your passion," Prude said.

IMSA students performed two skits, sharing inspirational speeches from civil rights activists, Freedom Riders, and modern voices such as Maya Angelou and Barack Obama.

The program concluded with speeches from Adrienne Coleman, Multicultural Education Specialist at IMSA, and James Gillian, Vice President of Government & Community Relations for Chase, who co-sponsored the event. Mr. Gillian spoke about how inspired he was by the event, and about The King Center Imaging Imaging Project.

Pictures of this event are now available to view and share online at IMSA’s Official Facebook Page.