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|Honoring the Dream Through a Call For Education -- FULL SPEECH AUDIO AVAILABLE HERE
|A Galesburg man chose to hone in on two problems that community members have been trying to solve during a speech he gave Monday marking Martin Luther King, Junior Day in Galesburg.
Knox and Carl Sandburg College Sociology Instructor Wendel Hunigan was the keynote speaker at an annual King Day Breakfast, where funds raised go into a college scholarship fund.
Hunigan says the city is going through what he called some of what he called "the best of times and the worst of times" in terms of the state of race relations.
"If you say things are getting better, you're absolutely correct. If you say things are getting worse, you're also correct," Hunigan said. "If you say, for example, that there are more Galesburg High School National Merit Scholar winners than ever before, that's true. But if you also say that Galesburg has more black high school dropouts than any time in recent history, you're equally correct."
Hunigan was referring to recent reports of an increasing dropout rate among African-American students at Galesburg High School -- and the dropout rate in general. He cites a King statement that indicates that education equals economic opportunity, and that if the graduation rate increases, that will in turn lead to a better overall economy and more importantly, more jobs.
To download Hunigan's entire speech, CLICK HERE (mp3 format, approximately 30 minutes).
To hear student Catharine Leahy read her prize-winning essay on Emmitt Till, CLICK HERE (mp3 format, approximately 2:45).
(Wendel Hunigan speaks at Monday's Martin Luther King Day Breakfast in Galesburg. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
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