MLK Keynote Speaker


Thursday evening, Culver-Stockton hosted a keynote speaker at Merillat Chapel to celebrate the legacy of one of the most influential leaders in history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The evening started off with a few words from DJ Hobbs, the speaker of the evenings’ son. Then, Doctor Willicia Denise Hobbs took the floor. She started off on a different note than most speakers at C-SC, by having students in the audience introduce themselves. After about a dozen students gave their names, year, and major, she started her presentation.

Though everyone knew the presentation would be about Dr. King, no one truly knew what angles and approaches Hobbs was going to take. She began with an interview clip from 1957, in a small, all-white town in Pennsylvania. The clip showed that a black family had just moved into the neighborhood; drew crowds from all over to see what would happen. The interviewer talked to a couple of the white families asking their opinion, none of them being pleased. She used this video to highlight racism during this time period. Hobbs then continued talking about segregation within not only in neighborhoods, but in hotels, restaurants, and even public restrooms. She then brought up the man of the hour, Martin Luther King. She interested the audience when describing him, saying he was kind, smart, a preacher, and many other qualities. Hobbs made him seem like an ordinary man that did extraordinary things.

His story is similar to our story.

— Willicia Hobbs- Keynote Speaker

She then later highlighted some of his successes: Being the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, leading the Bus Boycott for over 382 days, The Great March on Washington, and for giving one of the most memorable speeches in American history, “I Have A Dream”. Hobbs then shifted into a different perspective, one that was solely for the audience. She enlighted the room about how all people can do great things and that our stories are just at the beginning. She left with how we can all be successful with the right mindset and to “simply be”.