VSU president challenges community leaders, self

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dr. Makola M. Abdullah, president of Virginia State University, was the keynote speaker of the 19th Annual Franklin Community Leadership Breakfast, which was held on Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Regional Workforce Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College.

“I believe that we are witnessing one of the most historic periods in American history. We will look back upon this time at some point and dissect it and analyze it, but it is in fact one of the most important historical periods that we have seen in quite a while,” said Abdullah.

He referred to the presidential election and the impact on our communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. He felt that one impact will be on the ability of students today to get grants and the financing for a college education.

In continuing, he stated, “It is time to roll up our sleeves and get this work done. It is time to do what is right by uplifting one another. It is time to do what is right making sure that our sons and daughters have safe neighborhoods, opportunities for quality education. It is time to do what is right to make sure that we love one another, build each other up and not tear each other down.”

He added that we owe this to those before us that have died for this cause.

In his closing statement, Abdullah said, “I challenge you and I challenge myself to commit more than ever to work hard in dedication like Dr. [Martin Luther] King to do what is right. It is your duty and my duty to stand forward to understand the true meaning of social justice, to learn and be aware and empowered to make the world and especially our community a better place.”

Kisha Watford, served as the mistress of ceremony for the program.

Those giving greetings were: Frank M. Rabil, mayor of the City of Franklin; Dallas Jones, chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Southampton County; Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Third District, U.S. House of Representatives; Victor Picot, vice president of the Franklin/Southampton & Vicinity Alumni Chapter, of Virginia State University; and Anglea Artis, president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Also, appearing on the program was special music by Cultured Jazz Combo.

Sammara Bailey and Frank A. Davis of Parks & Recreation presented volunteer awards to Roger Owens and Joe and Linda Byrse.

Presentations/closing remarks were given by Angela Artis and Frank A. Davis

This annual program was sponsored by the Franklin Tri-County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the Franklin Department of Parks & Recreation.