The Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza in downtown State College opened on Monday. The plaza will celebrate King’s legacy as a leader of the American civil rights movement. The community took the chance to reflect on the fight for peace and equality.
Fifty-four years after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, Charles Dumas, Professor Emeritus at Penn State, read those words during the opening ceremony of the Plaza dedicated to King in downtown State College.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!” Dumas read.
Remarks at the ceremony looked back to King’s accomplishments in inspiring equality and social justice. Keynote speaker, Professor Emeritus of Harvard Divinity School, Preston Williams pointed to the recent resurgence in white supremacy to show there’s still work to do to achieve King’s goals.
“We still have a long, long way to go,” Williams said.
The plaza features a sweeping wall, which depicts King’s visit to Penn State in 1965, two months after he received the Nobel Peace Prize.