Fresno Pacific University King Celebration reaches Millennials

By wayne.steffen on January 23, 2017 @ 5:12pm
Students holing MLK signs

Younger leaders are carrying forward the work of social justice begun by the Civil Rights movement.

“The responses from Millennials were really, really good,” Wesley Flowers said following the seventh annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration Friday, January 20, 2017, on the Fresno Pacific University main campus. “They identified how they are participating in society to make a change in society.”

Flowers was among the organizers of “Remembering and Renewing King’s Dream for Peace: Millennials’ Voices and Perspectives.” The day, sponsored by the FPU Provost’s Office, consisted of several activities:

  • A luncheon hosted by ALAS (Advancing Latino Academic Success) a program to encourage Hispanic, minority and first-generation students.

  • A march in the area of the FPU campus.

  • An event in the Special Events Center that began with a reception at 3:45 p.m. and continued with a program at 5:00 p.m. that included a video on Martin Luther King, Jr., roundtable discussions and performances by the Dancers of Praise and FPU students. View the luncheon and main event (some audio difficulty) at

Among the approximately 85 participants were many Fresno-area church and community leaders. Flowers mentioned Michael Ballin, Brown Berets Fresno; Erika Paggett, Mothers of Black Sons Fresno; and Marcus Winston, Black Lives Matter Fresno. These and others are there “not to just talk about it, but to be about it,” Flowers said.

Flowers is the activity coordinator for the Martin Luther King & Fannie Lou Hamer Scholarship at FPU, supports African American students, who are underrepresented in higher education in general, and Christian higher education in particular. The scholarship is named for civil right leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fannie Lou Hamer. King was a pastor, activist and Nobel Peace Prize-winner who used civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. Hamer was an American voting-rights activist, share-cropper and freedom fighter whose Christian faith was instrumental in organizing Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).