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CSU, Tri-C Honor Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

33rd Annual Breakfast Remembered Life of Civil Rights Leader

Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College came together on January 15 for its annual celebration breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

CSU’s Chaney Sims and Tri-C’s Oluwasegun Ogunlade served as Master of Ceremonies. Sims, a sophomore finance student at CSU, aspires to fuse her passion for nature, public speaking prowess, and financial acumen to become a prominent figurehead in promoting financial literacy harmonized with eco-conscious principles. She envisions herself as a catalyst for change, empowering the younger generation with essential financial knowledge.

“The enduring value and power of MLK's words and legacy remain as potent now as they were in the past. We persist in honoring and celebrating him, drawing motivation for today's ongoing fight against injustice. We should shed light and rejoice words that guide and support us in life,” said Sims. “Being the MC for this esteemed celebration at CSU is truly an honor. As someone committed to unity, equality, and self-love, participating in a celebration for such a remarkable man is an incredible experience.”

The ceremony also featured remarks from CSU President Dr. Laura Bloomberg and Tri-C President Dr. Michael Baston, followed by student speakers Tatiana Raudeles and Amulya Tiralapuram (Tri-C) along with Leah Jeter and Nautica Bell (CSU). Jeter is a sophomore Theatre and Dance student and a member of the Black Leading Arts Cultural Club on campus. She is also passionate about creating and participating in creative spaces that allow black artists to speak their truths and express themselves through art and community.

Bell, a soon-to-be-graduate of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program, class of 2024, focused her capstone project on "Housing and Life Skills Support for Transitioning Foster Youth." She is a former President of CSU's Chapter of the Coalition of OT Advocates for Diversity 22-23. Her goal is to be an advocate for individuals who don't always have a voice and to add to the 5% of Black African Americans of Occupational Therapists.

Jarrett Pratt, director of Student Success at the Pratt Center, provided a historical perspective on the day's significance.

“Each year, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Holiday breakfast gives us the opportunity to come together as a community to honor a legacy of unwavering commitment to education, social justice, and civil rights,” said Pratt. “For more than three decades, Cleveland State, in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), has shared the responsibility of honoring this weekend with a breakfast, and each year, students submit essays and creative works to be featured in this space, which continues to serve as a bridge and powerful moment of reflection for all involved.”