Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 20, 1996

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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