Submitted by Gloria Locke
The immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rang triumphantly across the campus of Morehouse College on Thursday as hundreds of young men marched in the direction of the statue of the man credited with delivery of the most renowned speech of the 20th Century. A portion of the dream of this iconic leader was well illustrated as The Renaissance Men of Morehouse filed into the lobby of King Chapel pausing only to stop at registration booths manned by a team of male members from Atlanta Voters United.
Side-by-side the Morehouse Student Government Association, led by President Anre Washington and the local grass-roots organization entertained questions and electronically validated the voting status of students who had voted previously. Because of documented cases of voter suppression, they wanted full assurance that nothing will stand between them and the right to cast votes in November 2012.
Excitement peeked in the lobby as young men filled in the necessary documents for the very first time. Dr. Robert Franklin, President of Morehouse congratulated both students who helped to coordinate the event as well as eager young men who stood in line to join thousands of Morehouse men across the nation who continually embrace the dream and ideals of Dr. King, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays and most recently, Dr. Franklin. Some young men immediately made cell phone calls to parents across the country to share they had just registered. Others pulled Ipads from their book bags to record a visual account of another part of the rite of passage into manhood. At minimum, the atmosphere was super-charged with infectious optimism.
Solutions Architect Delmar Whittington, a member of AVU and a 1995 graduate of Morehouse, readily accessed data online and helped students to differentiate between various requirements within the United States. Though astute in many disciplines and destined to lead a generation, the Men of Morehouse welcomed the willing and experienced team from Atlanta Voters United whose Founder is Richard Byrd, Class of 1962. The AVU team arrived on campus prepared to remove any semblance of voter intimidation. The Deputy Registrar team included Delmar Whittington, William Reese, Sam Wright and Richard Jenkins.
Over 700 names have been added to the voting roster at Dr. King’s Alma Mater since the voting initiative began at the beginning of the fall semester. Exceptionally polite and grateful, the students repeatedly thanked the team for a rich and symbolic partnership. All members of the SGA expressed appreciation for the sacrifice and energy in behalf of Morehouse.
More than once, the Men of Morehouse and the AVU team enjoyed father -to-son moments as they joined in powerful agreement that a truly magnificent thing is taking place under the shadow of the carved image of the school’s most recognized son.
The dream lives on!