2023 MLK Commemorative Celebration ft. Tommie Smith

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Author
01/26/2023 Added
75 Plays


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion presented a week-long celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The events throughout the week were designed to facilitate both reflection and action toward a better appreciation of and respect for the dignity of every person. The 2023 MLK Commemorative Celebration featured a keynote address from Tommie Smith and the awarding of the annual Chancellor’s “Fulfilling the Dream” Award. Tommie Smith is a world record breaking gold medal Olympian and civil rights icon. During the 1868 summer Olympics, Tommie Smith broke the world and Olympic record with a time of 19.83 seconds and became the 200-meter Olympic champion. As the Star-Spangled Banner played in the wind at the Mexico City ceremonies, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the victory podium, draped with their Olympic medals, each raised a clinched fist covered in a black leather glove in a historic stand for black power, liberation and solidarity. This courageous, unexpected worldwide event propelled Tommie Smith into the spotlight as a human rights spokesperson, activist, and symbol of African American pride at home and abroad. Tommie Smith has made a commitment to dedicate his life, even at great personal risk to champion the cause of oppressed people.

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