Riverside City College Successfully Hosts Inaugural MLK Brunch
In a historic moment, Riverside City College (RCC) hosted its inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Brunch on Tuesday, January 16. Dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of the civil rights icon, the event brought together a diverse audience of over 250 attendees, including RCC administrators, faculty, classified professionals, students, community leaders, and elected officials.
The occasion, a collaboration between the RCC Student Services team, under the strategic leadership of Dr. Cruz-Soto, with the administrative support of Cathlene Castellanos, key faculty, and the local Riverside County Branch NAACP Chapter, aimed to celebrate the spirit of equality and social justice. The gathering was met with enthusiasm, with participants embracing the opportunity for fellowship and reflection.
Former NAACP National Spokesperson and President Benjamin Jealous served as the keynote speaker, delivering a compelling address on "The Secret to Unleashing Inner Greatness." Jealous, a distinguished civil rights leader and executive director of the Sierra Club, added an extraordinary touch to the event, highlighting the caliber of excellence that RCC aspires to in its endeavors.
Community engagement was a focal point of the celebration, with attendees enjoying a catered meal by Mama T's Food for the Soul. The atmosphere provided a platform for networking, learning, and building connections within the community.
RCCD Chancellor Wolde-ab Isaac, Ph.D., delivered a poignant address, delving into the complexities of African American history in the city of Riverside. The speech recognized historical figures, from pioneers like Robert Stokes to unsung heroes like Willie F. Bartee, Gay Caroline, and Reverend Frank Johnson. It explored the struggles against segregation, the role of churches, and the evolution of Black schools, emphasizing the ongoing journey toward equality.
Pride in RCC's role as a torchbearer of progress was evident in the Chancellor's words and affirmed in the keynote address by Jealous. During the event, the community was urged to break down barriers further, ensuring education serves as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation.
The success of RCC's inaugural MLK Celebration Brunch has set the stage for a new annual tradition. Plans are underway to continue this impactful event in the coming years, reaffirming RCC's dedication to celebrating diversity, promoting justice, and fostering a community committed to academic excellence.
As the event concluded, attendees left with a sense of pride in their community and a renewed commitment to Dr. King's vision. Riverside City College looks forward to building on this success and creating a legacy of unity, resilience, and progress in the years to come.