Kevin Powell encourages love in MLK Speaker Series talk

Political activist and MLK speaker, Kevin Powell, speaks about equality and human rights on Jan. 17 in John J. Pruis Hall. His presentation was part of Ball State's 37th annual Unity Week hosted by the Multicultural Center and Muncie Community MLK Planning Commitee. Kaiti Sullivan // DN
Political activist and MLK speaker, Kevin Powell, speaks about equality and human rights on Jan. 17 in John J. Pruis Hall. His presentation was part of Ball State's 37th annual Unity Week hosted by the Multicultural Center and Muncie Community MLK Planning Commitee. Kaiti Sullivan // DN

“Love, love, love, y’all understand?” 

This was Kevin Powell’s message to Ball State students, as well as America. He wants people to love one another as their sisters and brothers.

Powell spoke as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Speaker Series at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in Pruis Hall.

Powell is a renowned political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voice in America. He co-founded BK Nation, a new American organization focused on civil and human rights for all. He recently published his 12th book, "The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood." His articles have appeared in Ebony, Esquire, ESPN.com, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Vibe and CNN.com.

In his talk, "Looking for Martin: Dr. King, Community, Civil Rights, Social Media & the New Activism," he spoke about how King was a simple man — he was not someone who cared about fancy clothes. He was open-minded to ideas. In one of King’s speeches, he asked, “Where do we go from here?”

Powell urged people to be aware of what is going on in our nation, such as racism and sexism.

Powell doesn’t want to be a part of a society where people are mistreated because of their skin, sexual orientation, gender or ability.

“If we’re silent, then we become a part of the problem,” Powell said.

Powell discussed how King moved to the west side of Chicago in a ghetto environment to live in the same environment as the people he was trying to bring equality to.

“It’s relevant to modern times like how we talked about the ideas and actions and intentions of the 1960s and King,” said Vanessa Ramos, a sophomore marketing major. “It still applies to today with police brutality and racial tensions and social ethnic issues.”

Powell encouraged the audience to stand up and show what they believe. 

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