USI and UE host memorial events in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – 14 News WFIE Evansville

USI and UE host memorial events in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – 14 News WFIE Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – The University of Southern Indiana hosted a memorial luncheon in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and producer of the feature film Till, Keith Beauchamp, was the luncheon’s keynote speaker.
Beauchamp says the lynching of Emmett Till, and the legacy Till’s mother worked to establish of him, inspired Beauchamp’s activism.
“We don’t have the luxury of standing idle by and watch injustice happen in front of us without doing anything,” said Beauchamp. “I believe that we are all born into activism.”
Beauchamp says people of color and young people should explore what activism looks like for them if they do desire to do social justice work in any capacity.
“We all can become freedom conductors in our own way,” said Beauchamp. “We don’t necessarily need to make platforms that one would think we need to cause change. We can all cause change where we at and at anytime.”
Mount Vernon High School senior, Sophie Kloppenburg, was recognized at the luncheon for practicing activism in her own community by way of creating a memorial project, with the help of a USI professor, that commemorates seven African American victims of 1878 lynching’s and murders in Posey County.
“When we started this project one and a half years ago didn’t know how to erect a memorial obviously let alone simultaneously condemn the racism that allowed it to happen, and honor the families of the victims,” said Kloppenburg
This memorial was revealed in October 2022 in Mount Vernon and Kloppenburg says Dr. King set the groundwork for the activism she does today.
“When doing these things it’s always really inspiring because we think about all of the difficulties that he had to face and like I get to do something like this,” said Kloppenburg. “But instead of having all of these white people and community members against me like he had they’re for me and lifting me up and stuff and so that’s been really helpful and I’m really grateful that he paved the way that we live in a society that we do.”
Upon graduating high school, Kloppenburg says she plans to continue her education at Columbia University in New York by way of work as an activist in either a physical science or political science program.
The film “Till” is now available through multiple streaming platforms and can be watched on Youtube, Amazon Prime Video and Keith Beauchamp says the film will soon be available on DVD.
At the University of Evansville, the school also had a day filled with events commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The theme of the day’s events was “Daring to Dream: The Radical Imagination of a Liberated Other America.”
There was a faith based service kicking off the morning, a rally and march held soon thereafter, followed by a luncheon with Keynote speaker Dr. Chris Emdin.
More events continued throughout the day.
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