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FAMU celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at convocation

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 17:25:53-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Silence is not an option. That's the message sent to FAMU students at their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convocation Thursday morning.

Keynote speaker Adner Marcelin told the crowd in the Gaither gym they have to get involved in their community

To keep Dr. King's dream alive, he told this crowd to step up and do the right thing, me part of the government and pave the way for a better future for kids like those from the Brownsville Preparatory Institute.

Marcelin is the president of the Tallahassee NAACP chapter. He was asked to step in when National NAACP president and CEO, Derrick Johnson was unable to attend, because his flight couldn't land at the airport.

Despite the change, students ABC 27 talked with were excited to honor Dr. King and his legacy.

"What it means to me is the opportunity to be here at a historically black college and be able to thrive where we didn't have the opportunity before," said Jordan Sheppard, a FAMU student. "I believe he's paving the way, even though he's gone, his dream just keeps going forward, and we have the opportunity to be great."

Marcelin also talked about modern day segregation and how it needs to be challenged. He cited the differences in funding between FSU and FAMU.

One leader from the city about the challenges in carrying out Dr. King's dream in the year 2020.

"We're seeing a lot of backwards movement from the progress that we established for African Americans and other minorities in our country," said Tallahassee City Commissioner Curtis Richardson. "We just have to make sure that our young people understand that."

He hopes they'll reverse that and move forward as a community and nation.