by Jessica Smith,
Metro Associate Editor
Following Cuyahoga Community College’s 37th Annual birthday celebration and observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Tri-C hosted a brunch for students, faculty and staff from both Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University campuses for a morning of collective sharing of thoughts and sentiments around the issue of civil rights. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Channel 5 News Anchor Leon Bibb. Presidents from both campuses, Dr. Ronald M. Berkman of CSU and Dr. Alex Johnson of Tri-C gave warm welcomes to open up the event. Allie Dumski, Cleveland State University Student Government Association president was also present to give a few opening remarks. The morning’s events included a panel discussion with “Clevelanders involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s” where the audience had a change hear the testimonials of Reverend Emmitt Theophilus Caviness, Pastor of Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church and Marsha A. Mockabee, President and CEO of the Urban League of Cleveland about their personal experiences and memories of the Civil Rights Movement here in Cleveland. Following the buffet style brunch and discussion, participants viewed a student video compilation of their answers to the question of “What civil rights means to me.”
“Civil Rights means equality for citizens overcoming future obstacles and never forgetting the things we have overcome; also making sure that everyone knows the value of voting because it is the follow up to greater progress in the future.” Stated Tri-C’s Student Government Association President Cora Franklin. The morning up was wrapped up with intergenerational table conversations with a mix of students, faculty and staff from all campuses engaging in facilitated discussions about what Civil Rights has meant in the past, what it means today, and what solutions, if any, can be presented in our communities in the future.