Black History Month: Speaker Ignites MLK Convocation Mike Field -------------------- Staff Writer Students, staff and several top university administrators including interim president Daniel Nathans and acting provost Steven Knapp came together in song and celebration at the fourth annual Martin Luther King convocation held Feb. 12. The hour-and-a-quarter-long program took place in Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus. The JHU Gospel Choir sang, dean of Homewood student affairs Larry Benedict offered opening remarks and keynote speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud told the audience of about 100 that "ignorance is not bliss, it is destruction: If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!" Russell-McCloud offered her remarks at the end of a program that celebrated both the life and achievements of Dr. King, and the 87th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP. Earlier, junior Marvin Tucker, president of the Hopkins chapter of the NAACP, delivered a brief greeting in which he urged his listeners to take the words of the convocation to heart. "Keep in mind the importance of what we're saying here today," he said, "Don't forget the fight and what it means for us all." Afterward, junior Stephanie Henry, basileus of the Xi Tau chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, presented Russell-McCloud with a corsage in recognition of her work on behalf of the sorority. Russell-McCloud is past supreme parliamentarian of the organization as well as a life member of the NAACP. A lawyer by training, she spends much of her time traveling and speaking throughout the United States as president of her own motivational speaking and training company based in Atlanta. "What can you do for the community? What can you give back? That's the message of Dr. King," Russell-McCloud declared. She reminded her audience to look not for the differences that separate, "but the things that bring us together."
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