Wilson speaks on MLK legacy


Theo Wilson speaking at UNK

Theo Wilson on campus to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.


Every spring, UNK honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday by taking a day off from classes, and bringing a speaker to campus. This year students flocked to the Ponderosa room in the Student Union on Jan. 16 to remember Dr. King’s legacy.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and UNK Residence Life, in cooperation with the Black Student Association, welcomed Theo Wilson as the keynote speaker to UNK for this year’s celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Wilson began his speaking career in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the age of 15 and has always had a passion for social justice. 

“Fifty years after his assassination, the most important thing that people focus on about Dr. King’s life is the speech ‘I Have a Dream,’” said Wilson. “The issue with Dr. King was that he was wide awake and we were the ones that were dreaming,” 

“The issue with Dr. King was that he was wide awake and we were the ones that were dreaming.” -Theo Wilson

“Each year we try to bring someone to campus for MLK to celebrate his life and his legacy. This year we actually wanted to bring someone who was well-known in the area. He spoke at UNL last year, and we knew ‘this is the guy that we want,’ because he had such great success there. We’re really happy that he came and we’re happy that he performed so well,” said Ashley Olivas, a member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. This year across the United States amidst a seemingly never-ending government shutdown, MLK day was celebrated with different perspectives and insight into what Dr. King had believed in.

Throughout Wilson’s speech he encouraged students to stand up for themselves and believe in themselves in the face of adversity.

“Everyone faces some kind of gender, race and sexuality bias, and it is up to this generation to overcome those differences and see through the biases like Dr. King wanted in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Wilson said. “As activists you can’t help but measure yourselves against the shadow that he cast and he cast a heck of a shadow. All of us activists hope that in some way we can contribute to some chain reaction that will change the world, but this dude actually did. He’s got a holiday as proof.”

Theo Wilson speaking on MLK Day
Theo Wilson speaking on MLK Day
Crowd gathering on MLK Day
Crowd gathering on MLK Day