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MLK Unity Breakfast draws 150 people to Mt. San Jacinto College 


Last updated 1/24/2019 at 9:39pm

Mt. San Jacinto College photo

Dr. Jordan Smith Jr., who served as a major in the Marines, inspires the room of 150 people with his "My Path of Resistance Through Racism" speech at the 13th annual MLK Unity Breakfast at Mt. San Jacinto College in San Jacinto.

SAN JACINTO – Students, residents, faculty, staff and officials gathered at Mt. San Jacinto College, Monday, Jan. 21, to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the theme of "Resistance to Racism and Intolerance" at the 13th annual MLK Unity Breakfast.

Guest speaker Dr. Jordan B. Smith Jr. inspired the crowd of about 150 people with "My Path of Resistance Through Racism."

King "had a vision. He had a dream. I didn't know at that time that he was speaking to me," Smith, who served in the Marines as a major during his highly decorated career, said.

Today, Smith teaches math at Mountain View High School, an alternative school in San Jacinto.

"I am a restorer. I change their mindsets," Smith said, noting that he helps many of his students graduate. "I make them believe in their abilities."

The annual Unity Breakfast at MSJC brings the community together to remember the message and work of King to promote social justice and equity. Guests enjoyed breakfast, performances, speaker presentations and a student art contest. MSJC political science professor Willie Hamilton coordinated and hosted this event with the MSJC Diversity Committee.

MSJC student Wayne Yeager Jr. of Hemet won first place in the MLK Day Unity Breakfast art contest for his mixed media art installation that represents poverty, racism and other societal challenges among tribal nations in America. He said he started the piece, shaped like a shanty home, in December and used material left in dumpsters to salvage whatever he could.

"I wanted to tackle all the problems out there," Yeager said. "I started with poverty on a reservation."

His "We Are Still Here" installation even features a working faucet through which flows oil and rust to represent the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Mt. San Jacinto College photo

About 150 people attended the 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast Monday, Jan. 21, at Mt. San Jacinto College. This year's event focused on "Resistance to Racism and Intolerance." 

MSJC student Delisa Williams of Banning won honorable mention for her "Dream Come True" art that features King and former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Professor John Knuth, MSJC Art Gallery curator and art chair, announced that the MSJC Foundation and President Roger Schultz's office helped commission a oil canvas painting by San Jacinto resident Barbara Rivera called "Our Future." Featuring children from every continent around the world, the painting will hang in the college library.

The breakfast also featured performers Toni Malone, who portrayed a forgotten slave and the legendary Aretha Franklin, the Praise Dancers and choir of the First Missionary Baptist Church and The Julie Simon Tropicaleiza Drummers.

Hamilton and the Mt. San Jacinto College Diversity Committee thanked the MSJC board of trustees and Superintendent and President Roger Schultz for their continued support and participation in the annual event.

Submitted by Mt. San Jacinto College.


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