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CSU faculty,staff, students, seeking change

A future world filled with nonviolence, peace, and acceptance is not only a dream, but an obtainable reality in the minds of students, and faculty and staff members at Clayton State University, in Morrow.

On Tuesday, the Campus Events Council (CEC) at the school began a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with what its members called, "The King's Pledge."

Christina Miller, education coordinator of the CEC, said the pledge asked members of the college community to vow to stand against violence, and to respect others and themselves.

"We want people to forgive others, and move on ... and to not hold grudges...," said Miller. "It's about just being a better person in general," she added.

The CEC asked students, and faculty members to read the pledge, agree to its content, and write their name on a piece of paper in the shape of a hand, to be placed on a banner, according to Miller. "We wanted to start the year off right," she said.

"I believe that we should be more nonviolent, think before we speak, and do to others as we want them to do to us," she added. "We can truly make the world a better place."

It may sound cliché, Miller said, but the commitment to be nonviolent can make a difference.

CSU Junior and Cultural Coordinator for the CEC, Sherjetta Primus, along with Miller, coordinated "The King's Pledge." "I think that the pledge is a symbol of saying that, if only for this one day ... we want to show our gratitude [to Dr. KIng]," said Primus.

CEC member, Jasmine Chinnery, believes that people underestimate the power and impact of King's teachings, on society. "You have to really pledge to his dream and his values." Martin Luther King's values, she said, should be practiced in everyday life ... not just on MLK day or during Black History Month.

"It was important to put my ‘hand' into it," she said, "I think it is a good cause."

CEC members said they hope the celebration of King and his message will bring the diverse, student body of Clayton State together.

Events honoring the slain civil rights leader will continue throughout this week at the university, according to Miller and Primus.

CSU Spokesman John Shiffert added that, on Thursday, Jan. 20, from 11:30 a.m., until 12:30 p.m., Dr. Eric Bridges, a Clayton State professor, will hold a discussion about various issues affecting communities around the world. It will take place in room UC 268, of the James M. Baker University center.

The University will also host the Third Annual MLK Rally and March, for students, faculty and staff members, and local residents, on Thursday, from 4 p.m., to 6 p.m., in the Student Activity Center ballroom.

Later that evening, Clayton State and the National Archives at Atlanta will commemorate Dr. King's life and legacy with a special event, which will include performances, an exhibit, and a special reading.

The free event is open to the public, and will take place from 6:30 p.m., to 8 p.m., at the National Archives, at 5789 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow.