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Remembering a King

Event will reflect on the legacy of the late civil rights leader

When Bridgewater State University Trustee Davede Alexander thinks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s message of equality, justice and love, what impresses him most is how King and other civil rights leaders were able to successfully convey that message.  

“King and others wrote the playbook on activism, and through the civil rights movement were able to enact change and provide real visibility to the cause,” Alexander said.

He is set to speak at “Creating and Sustaining MLK’s Beloved Community,” a campus event scheduled for Jan. 27, hosted by the BSU Office of Student Success and Diversity.

Alexander earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the United States Naval Academy, where he also competed on the school’s Division I football squad. He then served as a Naval officer from 2001 to 2008, during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He is founder and CEO of Innovo Strategic Solutions, a Maryland-based consulting firm focused on helping service-based organizations.

For King and others to organize a civil rights movement during a time void of cellphones and social media is incredible, Alexander said.

“From a practical perspective, the whole thing was amazing,” he said. “People today should really take a look back and appreciate that, from the practical application of networking, communication and vision building.”

Looking at the current social climate, Alexander said there are many who are trying to bring about change and fix the divisions that are rife in American society today.

“I feel one of the issues we are having is that we have a lot of voices, a lot of intent, but don’t necessarily have a penetrating focus,” he said.

If he could speak to King and other activists from the 1960’s, Alexander wonders what they might advise.

“I would hope that civil rights leaders of the past would provide us with guidance on how to get our many voices not only amplified, but finely tuned, to start using them in such a way that has the greatest impact on the issues in our society today,” he said.

Keeping Dr. King’s message alive means getting people to communicate and seek common ground.

“We need to start talking around the table and learn how to agree on certain facts so that we can move away from the abyss that we seem to be traversing toward,” Alexander said.

Attending the BSU’s “Creating and Sustaining MLK’s Beloved Community” is one way to get those conversations started.

“I hope that people come to the event to learn and to have a conversation with people who may not think or feel the same way they do,” Alexander said. “I hope they feel inspired to make connections…I do believe at the end of the day fighting is not sustainable, but love is. That is the bottom line.”

“Creating and Sustaining MLK’s Beloved Community” will be held Jan. 27 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in the Rondileau Campus Center. A faculty panel, live music and dinner are planned.

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