19th MLK Scholarship Breakfast: ‘Where is the Love?’Written by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
On Saturday Jan. 15, 2011, the 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast was held at Central Park West in Toledo. The theme of this year’s event was titled “Where is the Love?”
The event presented by members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Xi Lambda chapter is held yearly to raise money for their scholarship fund for deserving high school graduates with aspirations of attending college.
George Rice III, associate director of Multicultural Student Services at George Washington University, presented the keynote address for the event.
“Where is the Love?” asked Rice to an attentive audience. “I don’t know if we actually understand what the meaning of it is. Before we know ‘Where is the love?’ we need to know ‘What is the love?’”
Rice named the three types of love called “eros,” “philos” and “agape” and referenced these terms to King to describe his love for the civil rights movement and today’s generation’s love and respect for one another.
“Eros is the lustful kind of love,” Rice said. “It’s self-serving. It’s one of those phrases where one says ‘I got mine, now you go get yours.’”
Rice told the crowd to imagine if Dr. King had this erotic kind of love for the civil rights movement.
“Where will we be?” he asked.
Rice involved the audience into his speech by leading them into song with past hits such as The Temptations “My Girl” and Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Rice said most current popular songs don’t present the same level of love and devotion to one another.
“In the 1960s, our language and behavior determined our music,” Rice said. “Now our music determines our language and behavior. Now we got songs like ‘My Chick Bad.’ That’s self-serving. That’s not the kind of love Dr. King had for the Civil Rights Movement.”
Rice then defined philos, which he said was love based on friendship.
“Imagine if Dr. King said he’s only taking people from a certain tax bracket,” he said. “What if he stated he was only taking those with a Bachelor’s degree or Ph.D. No, Dr. King said bring any and everybody who is willing to serve, love and ultimately die. The Civil Rights Movement was never a conditional movement.”
Rice lastly defined agape, which he referred to as unconditional love.
“Agape is unconditional love and this is type of love Dr. King had for the movement,” Rice said. “Even when situations proved to be inconvenient, uncomfortable or difficult, he still had an undying love to continue the movement to make a better tomorrow for our future generations.”
Rice hopes to use King’s legacy in his mission to mentor young men. Rice said he was a coach for many years.
“My philosophy is simple,” Rice said. “Approach one and coach one. It’s our duty to mentor, but mentor proactively. We need to show our youth how to be professional, how to conduct themselves, how to love and how to work. Doing that will help them develop as a responsible young adult.”
The United Way African American Initiatives donated $1,000 to the scholarship fund. It is the second year the organization has supported the event in its efforts to make college more affordable to young African American males.
“This is the second year the United Way African American Initiatives have provided scholarship dollars for this event,” Jason Daniels, vice president of Strategic Initiatives at the United Way of Greater Toledo, said. “Our focus at the United Way is to promote higher education among African American males. That’s why we’re here for the second year and we’re looking to continue to support this organization and their efforts to promote educational excellence throughout.”
Each year the Drum Major Award is presented to recipients who are very active in the community. This year’s recipients were Phillip Cunningham and Kamaron Kyser of the Thosefellas LLC. Cunningham said he was very surprised about being named a recipient of this award.
“Honestly, I’m shocked,” Cunningham said. “I just came to the breakfast and didn’t expect to win anything. I’m really excited about it. It lets me know we’re being noticed in the community.”
Cunningham added it was his parents’ involvement in his life, which encouraged him to perform his service to the community.
“It was my father who provided me with motivation to let me know I can accomplish anything I put my mind to,” Cunningham said. “He told me in order for me to do anything; I must go out and make it happen.”
Michael Stubblefield, president of Alpha Xi Lambda chapter, was pleased with the turnout of the event and said it’s the continuous support of the community, which makes it a success each year. He said it’s important for everyone in the community to step in to give back.
“Times are changing,” Stubblefield said. “We’re living in a very tumultuous time in this nation with education costs continuing to go up. Education is the key and we have to make sure we’re providing monies to continue the education of our young, so they may step in to help carry and pass the torch.”
Stubblefield added it’s important for the community to come together to honor Dr. King’s legacy.
“It’s important to bring together the community to raise funds for our scholarship and raise awareness of Dr. King’s legacy and remind everyone that his legacy is still relevant in 2011.”
Richard Autry is the author of this report