Around 100 students and staff filled the Holden Center on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Jan. 15, to hear former Minneapolis Mayor and Executive Director of Generation Next R.T. Rybak talk about King’s vision and the importance of equality.
Rybak was the 150th person to speak about diversity and inclusion at one of the College’s monthly Cultural Diversity Forums. The Forums expose students and staff to different cultures and various perspectives.
Rybak’s speech focused on the importance of fixing the achievement gap in schools and he encouraged attendees to take action to engage with and understand someone who is different than them.
“One of the most important things you can learn at Dunwoody is to sit down in the lunch room and talk to someone who is different from you. Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that’s not happening everywhere,” he said.
Rybak said the issues of race and opportunity are subtler today than they were in the past–stressing that those who succeed will cross boundaries.
“We each need to find somebody different than us and try to understand who they are. That’s not an obvious thing. That’s not something that will get a day named after you someday, but it is absolutely about the daily work of living a dream.”
The College’s February Forum celebrates Black History Month. Civil rights leader Dr. Josie Johnson is the keynote speaker and Grammy Award winning-singer Kimberly Brown will perform. The Forum is Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.