Sorority’s MLK event seeks to carry on greatness

Published 9:13 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

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The Franklin Tri-County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. held its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk and Program on Monday, Jan. 15, with the goal of inspiring lives of greatness that bring to life the dream that King spoke about during his life and activism.

The 2023 walk and program, which was held at Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, featured the theme of “Living the Dream: It Starts with Me — Spreading Hope, Courage and Unity.”

Because of the cold and inclement weather and sicknesses going around, Project Program Planning Chair Kisha Watford opted to hold the walk indoors at the Workforce Development Center, but she did so with a key reminder.

“Let us keep in mind that years ago, when Dr. King walked and others marched with him, they marched and walked through all kinds of weather,” she said.

She indicated that the walk would be led by members of Girl Scout Group No. 5073. They and the large group trailing them did three laps around the main hallway of the center.

“This morning we’re going to do a lap for hope, we’re going to do a lap for courage, and we’re going to do a lap for unity,” Watford said.

The program featured music from Brother Donovan Davis and the MLK Choir, and the guest speaker was Dr. Chiquita Seaborne, who gave a presentation titled “G.R.E.A.T.”

“I want you to focus on being great,” she said. “That’s what we want to do.”

She created an acronym featuring the letters of the word “great” and unpacked details about each letter, with the “G” standing for “Goals and Grace”; the “R” standing for “Read”; the “E” standing for “Envision, Educate and Empower”; the “A” standing for “Assess and Acknowledge”; and the “T” standing for “Time.”

Her speech drew from King’s life story and some of the key pieces of wisdom he imparted during his life of service.

Seaborne also spoke directly to the theme of the event, highlighting the words “It Starts with Me.”

“When we leave here today, each and every one of us has a responsibility,” she said. “We have that responsibility to take on that motto and say, ‘It starts with me.’

“What can we do to improve our communities, to improve our families?” she continued. “And when we improve our families … it changes their trajectory.”

She drew from her own life experience and noted how it is important to carry on what King and others helped make possible.

“I am able to stand before you as the child of a single parent, who was raised right here in Franklin City Public Schools, as Dr. Chiquita Seaborne because there were so many heroes who planted those trees, and I stood in the shade,” she said. “I’ve never known life where I was not able to go to school with people of different races. But our ancestors did. They planted those trees, right?”

She noted to African Americans in attendance that “we’re walking in the shade. So we have a responsibility to keep that going, right? That’s what we’re doing.”