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The 34th Annual Worcester Community Breakfast in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr

The 34th Annual Community Breakfast in honoring the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took place Monday at Quinsigamond Community College Athletic Center with over 700 people in attendance.

Speakers at the breakfast included: Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, R-Shrewbury; U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester; Fire Lt. William Mosley; and keynote speaker Reverend Dr. Lester A. McCorn, President of Clinton College.

McGovern spoke of the end to bigotry and how like minded people need to continue to come together to make change.

“It’s going to take more than breakfasts and celebrations,” McGovern said.

McGovern pointed out that the bigotry in the United States is the exact same that King pointed out over 50 years, but people didn’t want to acknowledge it. Change still has to happen.

But McGovern is hopeful, looking at the children and teenagers in the new generation.

“If they’re our future, we’re going to be fine,” McGovern said.

It was keynote speaker McCorn’s first time speaking in a community-type setting in Worcester in 35 years, he said.

McCorn is native to Worcester, speaking of his community, the diversity within the city, and how it molded his life.

McCorn now serves as the 13th President of Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

“I have literally gone from beign a college janitor to being a college president,” McCorn joked.

And he credits higher education for that, calling it the “best way out” for students of color.

“Education is so important,” McCorn said. “It is invaluable and indespencable.”

McCorn went on to call America to be accountable of its “sins,” which are the same from King’s time and are still not fixed. This adds to why King was so hated in his time—even more so, as McCorn noted, than person “who lives on Pennsylvania Avenue.”

The opposition to McCorn’s account though is “based on a myth of an equal America,” he said.

“Worcester has come a long way, but let me help y’all,” McCorn said. “Worcester still has a long way to come.”

McCorn mentioned the power of hope and how he still believes. He believes hope will be able to one day make these beliefs and goals come true.

“Nobody wants a color blind society,” he said. “We want a color inclusive society.”

Students were acknowledged for their essays and art concerning King.

Knights of Zion Choir performed. The audience joined in on hymnal songs, such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome.”



Monica Sager is a freelance writer from Clark University, where she is pursuing a double major in psychology and self-designed journalism with a minor in English. She wants to become an investigative journalist to combat and highlight humanitarian issues. Monica has previously been published in The Pottstown Mercury, The Week UK, Worcester Telegram and Gazette and even The Boston Globe. Read more of Monica’s previous work on her Twitter @MonicaSager3.
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